The Dawson County varsity men’s soccer team is off to a great start. The Tigers won their home opener last Wednesday, 2-0, over Pickens County.
Dawson then made the long journey to Lafayette and defeated the Ramblers, 5-2, last Friday night.
Tiger Jose Miranda is on a scoring rampage. Miranda, a freshman, has scored four goals in two games for Head Coach Jed Lacey’s team. The youthful Tiger scored the second goal against Pickens County and then countered with a hat trick against Lafayette.
“Jose is going to be one of the most special players to ever come through Dawson County. Jose is the most talented player at his age I have ever coached. His skills are very advanced for his age. He is going to be a big time player. In watching him play, you get mesmerized in the skill this kid has with his feet and then think he is only a freshman,” said Lacey about the freshman striker.
Against Pickens on Wednesday, the Tigers held a 1-0 halftime advantage on a goal by Mauricio Escobar. The Tigers added another goal by Miranda in the second half to pull off the 2-0 win.
Tiger goalie Sam Edwards got his first shutout of the season. He stopped 12 shots on goal.
“Alex Cote controlled the middle of the pitch,” said Lacey. “Alex is one of two seniors on this very young team. He brings a maturity to this team that is so valuable.”
Defense has been a point of emphasis according to Lacey. The Tigers have three new defenders to start this season.
Ethan Brown is the only returning starter from last year’s team. Cody McGinnis and Eian Perry, fullback, started their first game against Pickens. The Tiger stopper will be Cody Hall.
“I think by the end of the regular season and the tough competition we have in front of us, this unit will grow to be a major strength in leading our program,” Lacey said.
The Tigers exploded in the second half against Lafayette last Friday night.
Dawson held a slim 2-1 lead at halftime, but the offense came alive in the second half to score three goals and come away with the 5-2 win.
Scoring for Dawson were Miranda with three goals, Tyler Freeman and Cote.
“I thought Tyler Freeman played his heart out at his outside mid position. He works pole to pole and just attacks the net with a killer instinct. Tyler got his first goal of the season with a hard blast from the outside. Tyler is a relentless worker with a ‘you can count on me’ attitude that his teammates feed off of. Tyler is only a sophomore,” said Lacey.
Lacey also praised goalie Sam Edwards.
“Sam made some tremendous saves from point blank range. He stopped a penalty kick, but with the ball so slick it got free and bounced to a Lafayette striker who tapped it in.’
“This was a big win for us tonight. To travel two and a half hours on the bus and play a team of Lafayette’s caliber and come away with a win was huge.” said Lacey. “We played them two years ago in the first round of the state playoffs and got the school’s first ever state victory in soccer.”
Dawson will traveling to Buford on Friday.
“This week will be a big test for us. We just have to keep growing as a team and find more depth to make it through this season, knowing injuries are inevitable,” said Lacey.