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Top teams face off
Varsity Girls Soccer pic6
McKay Shively looks for an open teammate on a throw in against Lumpkin County. - photo by Pam Jacobs Dawson Community News

Last week's varsity girls' soccer match-up between the Dawson County Lady Tigers and the Lumpkin County Lady Indians pitted two of the top-ranked teams in Class AAA against each other.

The Lady Tigers went into the game ranked No. 4, while the Lady Indians held a No. 3 ranking.

The Lady Indians were able to hold off the local team and come away with a 2-1 victory and control of first place in Region 7-AAA.

The Lady Indians came into the game with a perfect 11-0-1 record against Coach Jed Lacey's Lady Tigers who were 8-3-0.

Lumpkin County opened the scoring with 36:49 left in the first half with a goal to take a quick 1-0 lead.

Dawson County's Emily Queen answered off a pass from Mckay Shively to tie things up 1-1 with 29:42 remaining in the half.

With just 2:46 remaining before intermission the Lady Indians pushed a ball past Dawson County goalie Anela Melton to take the 2-1 lead.

The goal was the last score for either team, as neither offense could muster anything in the second half.

The Lady Tigers were at a distinct disadvantage before the opening kickoff.

Junior Tina Libao began serving the first of a two game suspension for receiving a red card versus Banks County last week.

The problems got worse from there for Lacey's team.

Leading scorer Taylor Bennett injured her knee early in the first half and was pulled from the game.

"We are really going to miss Taylor (Bennett)," Lacey said. "I could blame this loss on the fact we were missing three starters tonight. But I refuse to do that. We are supposed to step up as a team when a player goes down, but that did not happen."

Lacey said Lumpkin deserved credit for being a good team.

"I give Lumpkin credit, they are a very optimistic team, but we were the cause of those goals with two bad mistakes and [not] paying attention to detail," he added.

Lacey praised the play of senior forward Meghan Picklesimer.

"Meghan completely stood out to me in shutting down the top forward and scorer. A week ago, Meghan was not even a starter, now she is a shutdown defender. Meghan has been waiting four years to start. She is such a success story," Lacey said.

It will also be the last game for goalie Melton.

Melton will be lost for the season after undergoing knee surgery.

"Anela has been playing on a torn up knee and will have surgery. The Lumpkin game was her last game this season. It has been an honor to have had the privilege to be her coach," Lacey said.

Melton has signed to play at Brenau College in Gainesville next season.

The Lady Tigers will be off for spring break this week.

The team will be back in action on April 15 with a non-region game at North Hall (4-5-1).

On April 17 the team will play host to Franklin County (1-6-0, 0-4) in a Region 7-AAA match.

It will also be Senior Night for the team.

Dawson County currently has an overall record of 9-3 and a 3-1 region record.

The team is ranked No. 4 in Class AAA.