The path to reaching the state championship game is never easy and the No. 2 ranked Cross Keys Indians needed overtime to knock off Mary Persons 2-0 on Tuesday night at Hallford Stadium and advance to the Class 4A boys’ soccer Elite 8.
The Indians missed some big chances in regulation with some one-on-one situations won by the Mary Persons’ goalie as he came up with some big saves to keep the game tied. A key point came with 13:05 when Cross Keys’ Gilberto Ramos couldn’t get the shot past the goalie.
The two teams finished regulation knotted at 0-0 and despite a couple of opportunities in the first five minute overtime the Indians still could not put the Bulldogs away.
With just over three minutes remaining Ramos got another chance. He drove past defenders to the goal and sent the ball just under the cross bar giving the Indians the 1-0 lead.
The Bulldogs (17-3-1) got an opportunity to tie the game with 2:26 remaining, but a penalty kick sailed high over the goal and the Indians began to hold the ball as the clock ticked down.
Cross Keys sealed the win with 23 seconds remaining as Jose Padilla hit a perfect lead pass over the defenders to Darwin Calix who won his one-on-one with the goalie for the score.
The Indians (15-2-1) move on to the third round of the Class 4A state playoffs to face tonight’s winner of Cairo and North Oconee. If Cairo wins there will be a coin toss for home field and with a North Oconee win the Indians will host.
Class 6A Boys
Lakeside 4, Norcross 0
The No. 2 Lakeside Vikings got a look at their future region as they tangled with No. 9 Norcross on the way to a 4-0 victory at Hallford Stadium on Tuesday to advance to the Class 6A Boys’ Soccer State Playoffs Elite 8.
A couple of shots in the first nine minutes of the game by Saul Tinoco and Will Mallory were turned away by the Norcross goalie before Mallory would give the Vikings the only goal they would need with 22:17 to play in the first half.
Mallory followed a shot by Jorge Deleon to the goal and attacked the ball on a rebound off the goalie block. Mallory’s first attempt was thwarted by the Norcross tender, but another rebound came back to Mallory and he got it past the goalie for a 1-0 Vikings’ lead.
Six minutes later twin brothers Saul and Raul Tinoco teamed up to make it 2-0 as Raul passed to his brother in the middle of the field and he taps it past the goalie for a big insurance goal.
Junior goalie Alfonso Batista came up big for the Vikings with 1:53 left in the half as Norcross got two shot right in front of the goal. He knocked one shot away and from the ground recovered to snag the second shot to preserve the 2-0 lead heading into the half.
Saul had two opportunities in the second half to add to the lead. At the 28:37 mark the Norcross goalie deflected Saul’s shot into the goal post and caught the rebound to keep Norcross within striking distance.
A long hot shot by Saul at the 11:22 mark was snagged from the air by the goalie to again keep the game within 2-0 for the Blue Devils.
Batista came up big in net again at the 5:52 mark as he prevented Norcross from cutting the lead in half again with another great play.
Lakeside answered the Norcross pressure with Saul getting a breakaway for a 3-0 Viking lead with 5:33 remaining.
He got the hat trick just over a minute later at the 4:28 mark as he fielded a rebound off a corner kick and sent a sizzling kick past the goalie for the final of 4-0. The win gave the Vikings their 575th program victory (575-147-46) and tying the 2008 state championship team’s 20 wins for most in school history.
The Vikings (20-0-0) play hosts to No. 4 Milton (14-3-1), a 3-0 winner over Hillgrove on Tuesday, at 7:30 pm on Friday at Hallford Stadium.
Class 5A Boys
Houston Co. 3, Dunwoody 2
The Dunwoody Wildcats dropped a tough 3-2 match to No. 6 Houston County at North DeKalb Stadium on Tuesday to fall from the Class 5A boys’ state playoffs.
DCSD SOCCER STATE PLAYOFFS RESULTS
Tuesday, May 3
Class 6A Boys (2nd Round)
No. 2 Lakeside (20-0-0) 4, No. 9 Norcross (13-4-1) 0
Class 5A Boys (2nd Round)
No. 6 Houston County (16-2-1) 3, Dunwoody (12-7-1) 2
Class 4A Boys (2nd Round)
No. 3 Cross Keys (15-2-1) 2, Mary Persons (17-3-1) 0
DCSD SOCCER STATE PLAYOFFS SCHEDULE
Wednesday, May 4
Class 4A Girls (2nd Round)
No. 9 Chamblee (10-5-0) at Wayne County (9-5-0), 5:00 pm
Class 5A Girls (2nd Round)
Richmond Hill (12-4-1) at No. 10 Dunwoody (11-4-1), 6:00 pm (tentative)
Class 6A Girls (2nd Round)
Mill Creek (12-5-0) vs. No. 10 Lakeside (14-1-2), Hallford, 6:00 pm
Friday, May 6
Class 6A Boys (3rd Round)
No. 4 Milton (14-3-1) at No. 2 Lakeside (20-0-0), Hallford, 7:30 pm