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SOCCER: Tigers lose to North Hall after overtime rally
Late game claw back not enough for Dawson County to defeat North Hall
SOCCER 1 03-16-21
Rylan Steffens dribbles the ball through the gap in the North Hall defenders in a match on March 16. - photo by Jacob Smith

The Dawson County Tigers soccer team was unable to clinch victory against North Hall High School on Tuesday, March 16, losing in penalty kicks after a late-game rally by the Tigers tied up the scores. 

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Caleb Bonesteel sends a free-kick down the field in a match against North Hall High School on March 16. - photo by Jacob Smith

“We really needed a victory last night,” Tigers head coach Patrick Muenchen said after the game. “It was well within our grasp and we let it slip away. Although the loss was disheartening, the boys continue to fight as they always do.” 

After falling down 3-2 late in the second half, the Tigers put together a goal to send Tuesday’s match into double overtime and eventually into penalty kicks. 

Though the Tigers would eventually lose the match at the end of penalties, it was their closest match of the season so far. 

After falling down 1-0 in the first minute of the match, Wiley Dennis scored a late first-half goal to tie the game. North Hall scored one more goal and took a 2-1 lead into halftime. 

Freshman Dominic LeBlanc came out of the halftime break hot and scored quickly to tie the game at 2-2. When North Hall took the 3-2 lead, LeBlanc once again took over offensively and scored his second goal of the game to tie the match at three goals and send it into overtime. 

Both teams battled closely but were unable to score any goals in both 10-minute overtime periods. In penalty kicks, LeBlanc, Jose Sandoval, Eric Sanchez, and Matthew Stanfill made their penalty kicks, going 4-5, but North Hall made four sending penalty kicks into extras. 

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Aaron Muilenberg waits for the referee's whistle to throw the ball into the field of play in a match against North Hall High School on March 16. - photo by Jacob Smith

After both teams missed their first attempts, Blake Frazier made his to match North Hall’s goal. The Tigers would finally be stopped on the eighth penalty kick attempt when Dawson’s miss was answered with a North Hall goal. 

This was the Tigers' closest game during a season where the team has lost 10 straight games. Until Tuesday’s loss, the Tigers' closest match was two separate 3-1 losses. 

“We are continuing to progress as a team and our synergy is good, but missed opportunities and defensive mistakes continue to hurt us,” Muenchen said. 

The Lady Tigers lost 3-0 to North Hall in their game prior to the boy's match. Tuesday’s game is their third-best finish of the season, following last week’s 1-1 tie against Pickens County.

The game was scoreless through the first half, but Dawson County could not keep pace with North Hall in the second half. 

“I think we’ve definitely improved over the year,” Lady Tigers head coach Chess Hamby said after the game. “The girls definitely work hard. I couldn’t be more proud of them. I think we’ve settled into a lineup that we can be successful with moving forward.” 

The Tigers will travel to West Hall High School to play the Spartans in a region game on Friday, March 19.