The Thomasville boys soccer team piggybacked the Lady ‘Dogs by attaining the 1-AA soccer championship after Thursday’s 4-1 road win over Bainbridge.
The pair of victories gave Thomasville a season sweep of the region championship for the second year in a row.
The Bulldogs, however, spent nearly no time celebrating, as region titles have become the annual standard at Thomasville.
“I couldn’t even get the guys together to take a picture,” coach Keith Gwaltney said. “It’s great to see such focus and determination from a team at this point in the season.”
Thursday’s game was another archetype Thomasville-Berrien tilt, featuring the two rivals atop the 1-AA standings that clearly don’t like each other.
“Playing them over there always presents a hill to climb,” Gwaltney said.
The teams held a scoreless tie through the better part of the first half while Thomasville retained most possession.
Gwaltney, who started Cason Wells up top to maintain an aggressive approach on offense. The coach then shifted Wells, who just recently retuned from an injury, to center and moved Lucas Herren up top.
Just a few moments later, Herren set up Austin Peralta for the first score of the game with roughly ten minutes remaining in the first half. Nine and a half minutes later with just thirty seconds to go, Austin Mata weaved through a bulk of Berrien defenders en route to Thomasville’s second goal.
“Having that 2-0 lead going into halftime helped us a lot psychologically,” Gwaltney said. “The guys knew that we had to stay aggressive and intense coming out.”
Thomasville extended its lead to three when Hank Sofferin netted a score right on the cusp of the goal mouth while “crashing the goal” during what Gwaltney said was a confusing moment for the Berrien keeper.
The Rebels scored their lone goal with 17 minutes remaining in the midst of miscommunication between a Thomasville defender and keeper, which resulted in an illegal pass.