The Dawson County soccer program has emerged as the pair
of teams to beat after back-to-back wins as both squads marked the beginning of
region 7-AAA competition with victories over the Cherokee Bluff Bears and the
North Hall Trojans.
The Tigers took to the field in Flowery Branch against the Bears March 19 still seeking their first win of the season although Head Coach Patrick Muenchen continued to express optimism about the team’s chances for success.
“We have a physical team and some very talented players as well as some fast players,” Muenchen said. “I think we have to finalize our formation and where we need to put everyone. It is very possible for us to win out our region.”
Michael Velasquez put the Tigers on top in the first half with the first of his two goals in the game while keeper Braden Davison held strong in the net to post his first shut-out of the season.
“Although we had to pull a man up from defense to midfield our guys in the back really played tight defense,” Muenchen said. “Our keeper had another awesome game, including slide tackling a one on one breakaway and blocking a PK that was awarded off a handball.”
Dawson County rode their momentum back to the house for a home game with North Hall March 22, and the winning ways continued as Davison recorded his second shutout of the season and the Tigers defeated the Trojans by a final score of 2-0.
“Both regional matches were challenges, but we came out on top,” Muenchen said. “We started getting the ball up top and North Hall was our best teamwork effort yet. We passed the ball well.”
Despite an overall record of 2-7, the Tigers claimed first place in region 7-AAA as they moved to 2-0 and prepared for a tough match with Greater Atlanta Christian Schools.
“GAC has put up a lot of scores in their matches and we are going to have to play tight defense to stay in the game. Their speed up top is a concern,” Muenchen said. “Our counter attacks and set plays are going to have to produce results with little error for us to come out on top.”
Although undefeated since their opening season loss, a tie with Eastside in the team’s previous game had ended the team’s winning streak at six games. The streak was re-ignited in a big way March 19 when the Lady Tigers demolished the Cherokee Bluff Bears by a final score of 10-0.
Led by scoring machine sophomore Molly Muenchen at forward and defensive juggernaut Fallon Lacey in front of the net Dawson County looked unstoppable as they put point after point of the board.
“The teams that make the deep runs in the playoffs are the ones that keep working hard and don't get complacent,” Head Coach Chess Hamby said. “We hope that our best soccer is in front of us and that we peak at the right time.”
After finishing off the Bears, Dawson County hosted the Lady Trojans for a regional battle March 22, and although it lacked the scoring of the earlier game, Lacey posted her fifth shut-out of the season and the Lady Tigers extended their overall record to 8-1-1 with a 2-0 victory.
The win also pushed the Lady Tigers to 2-0 in region 7-AAA and locked them in a tie for second place with the GAC Spartans.
“GAC has shown that they will be the toughest competition again this year in the region,” Hamby said. “They are a solid team year after year and we know that it is getting to be a great battle.”
Dawson County hosted GAC in a regional match March 26. Results were unavailable as of press time.