Thomasville Times Enterprise

Local Sports

May 6, 2014

THS cruises to second state soccer tournament win

THOMASVILLE —

These Bulldogs refuse to relinquish the ball.

Thomasville notched its second AA state tournament win with command on Tuesday.

The Bulldogs again held their opponent scoreless, this time ousting Atkinson 5-0 to piggyback their 10-0 rout over East Laurens last Thursday.

Thomasville was on the board in the ninth minute when Austin Mata netted a goal by virtue of an assist from Tommy Hill. 

After back-to-back misses within seconds during the 16th minute – both narrowly over the net – Thomasville briefly relinquished possession, and allowed Atkinson to take its first shot of the game.

Thomasville accounted for six more missed shots before scoring its next goal on the foot of Alex Peralta, who gave the Bulldogs a 2-0 advantage in the 23rd minute.

It would be Thomasville’s final goal of the half, as the Bulldogs slowed pace before breaking.

Peralta notched his second goal within the first 48 seconds of the final period, which he said gave Thomasville the cushion it needed to “play aggressive” the rest of the way. 

“I think it really brought confidence to the team going into that last stretch of the half, which I think will carry over to the next round,” Peralta said. 

Lucas Haaren extended Thomasville’s lead to four with his first and only goal ten minutes later in the 50th minute. 

Hill netted the game’s final goal in the 53rd minute.

The Bulldogs slowed pace over the final 25 minutes by sprinking subs and mixing formations.

Yet the THS defense played as hard as they had all game during the waning stages as Atkinson sought to avoid a shut out.

“They really showed some touch and team speed right up through the middle,” THS coach Keith Gwaltney said. “We just were determined to not let them score.”

Thomasville again utilized the possession battle in its march to victory.

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