February 28, 2014

Area prep roundup: Colts soccer improves to 4-0

VARNELL — Entering this high school soccer season, fans around the state knew about the power of the boys programs at Dalton, Northwest Whitfield and Southeast Whitfield. The three schools were all Class 4A semifinalists last season, with Dalton beating Southeast for the state championship.

This year, Coahulla Creek is out to show people there’s another upper echelon team in Whitfield County.

The Colts continued their perfect start to the season Thursday night as Pedro Garcia put together a hat trick in a 4-0 victory over Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe in Region 5-3A play. The victory came on the heels of Tuesday night’s win over Cartersville — the No. 9 team in the Class 3A rankings.

“We have a shot to be one of the best teams in the state, and it is not just Dalton and Southeast and Northwest,” said Garcia, who has 10 goals in four games. “We started working as soon as we walked off of the field at Oconee County last year and got back to work.”

The Colts (4-0, 3-0 Region 5-3A) lost to Oconee County in the first round of the Class 3A state playoffs last season. It was the school’s first appearance in the state playoffs, but with only one starter missing from that team, Coahulla Creek is aiming much higher this season.

“This year, we are expecting to start making runs and go deep in the playoffs,” coach Eric Parker said. “It isn’t just about making state now. We want to make sure that people understand that there are four great teams in this county and Coahulla Creek is a great fútbol team.”

Parker said he could tell that the mental aspect of the game is still something his team has to work on after a slow start to the win over LFO. The Colts scored three of their goals in the second half.

“We were a little sluggish from the Cartersville game,” Parker said. “We are trying to build and make sure they understand that we are supposed to be there and play with the Cartersvilles and the Oconee Counties and the North Murrays and even (top-ranked) St. Pius. We have to expect that and continue to get better and not take any steps backwards.”

While it was clear that the Colts were dominating the action on their end of the field from the start of Thursday’s match, that didn’t translate to a big lead early. The lone goal of the first half came on a mistake by LFO goalie Tyler Prebula as Garcia was there to put the ball in the back of the net after a deflection four minutes into the game.

Four minutes into the second half, Coahulla Creek started showing better finishing skills. Off of a direct kick from Chino Barcenas near midfield, Ronnie Vargas was able to get a header to the middle from the left wing. That was the opening Garcia needed to give the Colts a 2-0 lead.

In the 16th minute of the half, Garcia scored once again on a rebound goal. The final goal came in the 66th minute of the game as Barcenas headed a cross from Sadoth Fraire high into the air and over Prebula’s head.

The Colts outshot the Warriors 21-9, with keeper Missael Fraire earning the shutout.

LFO girls 1, Coahulla Creek 0: The Lady Colts (2-3, 1-2 Region 5-3A) dropped below .500 after losing back-to-back games.

North Murray boys 8, Adairsville 0: Jacob Dotson’s hat trick led the way as the Mountaineers routed their hosts to improve to 2-0 overall and in Region 5-3A play.

Tito Garcia, Victor Iturbero, Jose Luis Rangel and Neto Rodriguez each added one goal, as did Manuel Gonzalez after playing the first half in goal for the Mountaineers, who led 4-0 at halftime. Juan Salaises took over at keeper in the second half as Gonzalez moved into the field.

Adairsville girls 5, North Murray 0: The Lady Mountaineers — who were missing five regular starters or contributors — dropped their second straight Region 5-3A match to open the season.

Amber Bandy made 19 saves in goal for North Murray, while Alonda Bennett had three shots on goal.

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