The McIntosh soccer program is off to a strong start to the state playoffs with both squads winning in convincing fashion in round one.
The Lady Chiefs completely dominated the LaGrange Lady Grangers in the first round of the state playoffs by a score of 5-0. The win moved McIntosh to 16-2 overall and 11-1 in region play.
Taylor Malasek got the scoring started at the 35:00 mark, and she came right back with a second goal two minutes later for a 2-0 lead. McIntosh wanted to send a clear message from the beginning that they would dominate the game. They practically lived at the LaGrange end of the field the entire first half.
Caroline Laux got into the scoring act at 25:00 mark as she kicked a laser by the LaGrange goalie to give McIntosh a 3-0 lead.
LaGrange did not have one shot on goal in the entire first half as McIntosh went into the lockers ahead 3-0.
The Chiefs started the second half just like they ended the first half. Malasek made an awesome breakaway shot on goal, but Doerr was able to tip the ball above the goal at the last second.
At the 30:02 mark, it was Laux again on a very gutsy play to make the score 4-0 McIntosh. Laux was attacking the goal and the goalie from LaGrange rushed toward Laux and knocked her to the ground, but she had enough momentum on the kick to make the goal.
McIntosh continued to keep LaGrange in check, as the Grangers only had three shots on goal the entire game.
Lauren Phillips scored McIntosh’s final goal at the 12:05 mark to make the score 5-0.
Coach Marcia Clark said, “We got through the first round. We are moving on. Any win is a good win, and we will use the momentum of this win to move deeper in the state playoffs.”
Malasek added, “I thought that our team connected well today. This is my third year, and I was on the team that won the state championship my freshman year. Our goal is to work hard and to win another state championship.”
Laux said, “The win was great! I am really excited, and we want to use the momentum to win the state championship.”
The McIntosh boys took care of business in their opener against the Hardaway Hawks in a 4-1 victory.
McIntosh struck quickly, Jake Donaldson converting a penalty kick just 39 seconds into the match.
Hardaway scored seven minutes in to tie it at 1-1, but it would be all Chiefs from there. Nearly twenty-eight minutes into the game, Clay Jackson broke the tie with an assist from John Bruhn. With less than two minutes left in the half, Bruhn scored off a feed from Jeffery Magee.
McIntosh added a little insurance with a Gus Fidler header off a Donaldson assist just 22 seconds into the second half.
The Chief defense was solid, allowing just 3 shots on goal all night.
The boys will host Gainesville May 3 at 7:30 p.m. The girls will travel to play Gainesville May 4 at 5:30 p.m.
The Starr’s Mill boys showed they can be at home on the road, traveling to Columbus and bringing back a 2-0 victory in round one.
Not many teams could shake off a late season slump like the Panthers had, but not many teams have the winning pedigree of the program. They lost five in a row before rebounding with a win in the regular season finale.
“I was pleased with our play,” said coach Mike Hanie, whose team never lost its confidence in the stretch where they lost four matches by one goal. “The key was scoring first and not allowing Columbus to get in behind us. In round two, we need to keep the ball better and make our final pass count and not be wasted.”
The Panthers kept plugging away, breaking through with four minutes left in the first half. Jonathan Ulversoy scored off a Mick Pattison assist for a 1-0 advantage. Starr’s Mill struck again fourteen minutes into the second half with a Sam Pompeo strike off a Sammy Shlapak feed.
Keeper Michael Lantz and the defense did a tremendous job shutting out the offense from the top ten-ranked Columbus Blue Devils.
The boys will travel to play Clarke Central in round two Tuesday, May 3.
The Lady Panthers advanced with a 9-0 win over Harris Co in the first round Wednesday night.
Riley Clark led the charge with 4 goals and 1 assist as the Panthers were on the attack from the first minute until the last. Leslie Logan scored 3 goals and had 1 assist. Ashton Nowicki and Sky Dedrick had 1 goal a piece, Lauren Yoss, Katelyn LaRusso, Laurel Parker, Ashley Broderick, Dylan Patterson, and Ansley Peurifoy each had an assist.
The win raises the team’s record to 17-2-0 on the season and puts the team into the Sweet Sixteen on Wednesday, May 2, against Heritage (Conyers) at 5:30 p.m.
For one Whitewater soccer squad, round one went as planned. For the other, it was unexpected and devastating.
The Lady Wildcats took care of business, dominating White County 9-0.
“Overall, our energy level was good. We moved the ball well and had a lot of shots,” said coach Randy Hayes. “We are always trying to improve our communication and need to continue to play at a quicker speed.”
Once the offense got rolling, there was no stopping them. Maddie Longley struck first, 13 minutes into the game. Four minutes later, it was Jolie Ryff’s turn. Sally Worst made it 3-0 at the twenty-four minute mark.
The Cats padded the lead further with three goals in six minutes late in the first half. It was Cayson Greene, Longley, and Peyton Lee as the lead ballooned to 6-0 at halftime.
Emily Petersen struck seven minutes into the second half, Ryff hit her second of the game at the midway mark, and Worst scored the finally tally with four minutes left in the match.
“Cayson Greene, Abby Smithwick, and Ally Smithwick all played a good game,” Hayes said of his midfield leaders.
“The defense was very good with Molly Downing, Aubrey Heard, and Haleigh Meuninck all keeping White County from mounting much offense,” praised Hayes, whose keeper, Emma Fulton, pitched another shutout.
The win runs Whitewater’s record to 12-6 overall. They will host Locust Grove in round two Wednesday, May 4.
In a shocker, the Whitewater boys were upset in round one by Buford.
The Wildcats came into the game ranked number two in AAAA with a 16-1 record. Buford entered at 9-5-2 overall.
After a scoreless first half, Buford struck for the game’s lone goal 10 minutes into the second half. Miguel Burgos launched a free kick that Fredy Benitez redirected into the net for the winning tally, ending Whitewater’s dreams of a state championship early.
Fayette County and Our Lady of Mercy rounded out the rest of the 10 local squads in the state soccer playoffs.
The Fayette boys were beaten 8-0 by the top ranked and unbeaten team from Johnson. The Fayette girls fell to Buford, ranked number four in AAAA, 10-0.
The Our Lady of Mercy boys lost to Savannah Country Day 4-0. The Our Lady of Mercy girls will also play Savannah Country Day in their round one matchup.