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Region champs
Girls team advances
Girls Soccer pic1
Goalie Kenna Seitz covers up the ball as a North Oconee player runs toward her. Dawson County defeated North 1-0 to capture the Region 8-AA championship. - photo by Ryan Coker Dawson Community News

Less than 4 minutes was all it took for the Dawson County girls' soccer team to post the game's only goal.

The score came off a breakaway pass from Riley Cox to freshman McKay Shively at the 36:10 mark to put the Lady Tigers on top 1-0.

That lone goal was all Dawson County (14-2) needed to capture the Region 8-AA Championship over North Oconee (8-6) at Tiger Stadium in Dawsonville.

The championship was the first in girls' soccer program history at Dawson County High School.

"Man I thought it was awesome. We have worked so hard this year. We never expected to be as good as we are right now. Our kids are overachieving. They are just hungry to win. We are region champs, it's the first time we have ever done that. We are now going to push on to state," said head coach Jed Lacey.

Dawson County's defense took over after the Lady Tigers' score and allowed only one shot on goalie Kenna Seitz in the first half.

North Oconee turned up the pressure in the second half and attempted five shots, but Dawson County was never seriously threatened.

"Defensively we were great. Kenna Seitz was tremendous in goal this afternoon. At sweeper, Emily Stowers did a great job. My two outside midfielders Taylor Bennett and Brittany Duffy, also did a good job of running the outside," Lacey said.

The Lady Tigers pressured the North Oconee defense for the first 40 minutes. Dawson County placed six shots on goal.

"The goal early: It was good. We pushed numbers in the box. That's what overwhelmed North Oconee. We knew their defense wasn't as strong as their front so we were pushing six in the box. We made a beautiful pass from Riley Cox to McKay Shively and she was right there for it and we kicked it in. From there we did what we had to do," Lacey said.

"Riley Cox passed it to me and I was just able to tap into the right post. It feels great. It's an honor to play on this team. We all play as a family. It's a great experience to be a freshman and play with my teammates," Shively said.

The Lady Titans last chance came with 1:40 to play.

Seitz came up strong and smothered the ball to preserve the Dawson County win.

"We would have lost so many games without our defense. They are just so strong in front of me. I came out halfway through the first part of the season because I was still in basketball. I have been playing since I was a freshman on varsity and haven't won a region championship yet. It really feels great to finally win one. Coach Lacey is a great coach and he really knows how to coach a team," Seitz said.

North Oconee played most of the game without Georgia Southern signee Emily Hirano, who is nursing an injured leg.

With the win, Dawson County advanced to the first round of the state tournament.

"It's sort of exciting and I get to play with girls I've known a very long time. My sister, Brooke, is a senior and it's exciting to let her take this road one more time," Shively said.

Dawson County will now move on to the first round of the state tournament. The Lady Tigers will play Sonoraville (8-9-0) Friday in Dawsonville.

Kick off will be at 5:30 p.m.

Sonoraville is coached by Kristen McGuire.

The Lady Phoenix are the No. 4-seed out of Region 7-AA. McGuire's team lost to Calhoun, 2-0, in the Region 7-AA consolation game.