The Dawson County High School varsity Tigers soccer team opened the regular season with a win over Gilmer County, 2-0, before losing to state-ranked Buford, 7-3, on Thursday. Buford is currently ranked No. 7 in AA.
The game with Gilmer County was very physical.
"I was just glad to get out of there without any injuries," Lacey said. "I did not like the style of play that was going on out here tonight. We got the job done tonight and every time we play Gilmer it is always a tight game."
The Tigers took a 1-0 halftime lead off the foot of Chris Bywaletz with 27:43 left in the half. It was the first goal of Bywaletz's high school career. Brandon Lund contributed with the assist.
Dawson scored again with 21:42 left in the second half with a goal by Josh Lund. Brandon Lund recorded his second assist of the game.
"Brandon is a very skilled player. He is way past his years and brings excitement to the field that energizes everyone around him," Lacey said.
In goal, Brooks Fulford had a shutout.
"Sophomore Brooks Fulford did a great job in goal tonight and looks like where he left off last year, looking like a beast in goal again this year," Lacey said.
"We have very good speed on this team and we will have to use it because we just do not have the size like in the past that we can just pound on people. I am very happy for the win tonight and just want to build off it.
"I thought senior James Carr had probably the best game of his high school career holding mid position," he added.
Against Buford the Tigers' Brandon Lund scored a goal 27 seconds into the game. It was Lund's first goal of his high school career. It seemed to wake up the Wolves, as Buford scored four straight goals to take a 4-1 halftime lead.
Despite goals by Lund and Sal Mendoza in the second half, the Wolves tacked on three more goals to take a 7-3 win.
"I do not even know where to begin talking about this game. It was like a nightmare that would not end," Lacey said. "Our youth showed up a little ... We got pushed around all night and did not fight back.
"This game was a learning experience for this team in many ways. We learned that we have to play with more passion and physical play. We also learned that we will have to learn to play without the services of last year's MVP Jose Miranda, who was lost for the season with a knee injury," he added.
Dawson is currently 1-1 on the young season.
Lacey's team will play at 7 p.m. at home Friday against North Hall.
At 7 p.m., Tuesday, the team will host Lumpkin County.