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Ladies succumb to St. Pius
Girls Soccer pic
Summer Armstrong controls the ball despite defensive pressure by St. Pius. - photo by Ryan Coker Dawson Community News

In what many people think could have been the state soccer championship, the Dawson County Lady Tigers, No. 7, lost to last year's defending state champions St. Pius X, No. 1 in Class AAA, 1-0, May 7.

The Lady Lions only goal came with just 7:19 left in the game on a rebound off Lady Tiger goalie Anela Melton.

The loss ends Dawson County's season with a 13-3-2 overall record.

"These girls gave all they had. St. Pius is the best team in the state year after year. They have so much talent and play with such pace. My girl's played their hearts out. We believed we could hang with them and for 73 minutes we held them out of our goal," said Lady Tigers Head Coach Jed Lacey.

"We were playing to get to penalty kicks because if we made it, we would have beaten them, in my opinion. I believe Anela is the best goalie and my girls don't miss penalty kicks."

The game was a defensive battle with Melton holding the Lady Lions at bay.

"I thought Devon Coates, Summer Armstrong, Sara Bywaletz, Jessica Chambers and Madison Callas did a great job defending the offensive attacks from St. Pius.

"Anela Melton played out of her mind tonight in goal. She made saves that were breath taking. That might have been the best game I have ever seen on the girls' side from a keeper in my coaching career.

"The goal St. Pius scored came off another beautiful save and it just happened a St. Pius player was there for the rebound. The great thing is Anela will be back next year," Lacey said.

Dawson County will lose just two seniors from this year's team: Riley Cox and Suzanne Eckert.

"We are going to miss these two girls," Lacey said. "The great thing is that we return a great group that should be hard to beat next season. I can't wait to get started."

In the Elite Eight, St. Pius destroyed Jackson High School, 10-0, May 10.

The Lady Lions move on to the Final Four and a matchup with Decatur High School today.

The other semi-final game will be Blessed Trinity against Oconee County.

The Lady Tigers season is now over.