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Boys soccer: Coosa holds off Armuchee in 7-AA defensive struggle

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Coosa and Armuchee are two of the most dominant soccer teams in Region 7-AA this season, and that definitely showed Friday night at Armuchee.

Meeting for the first time this season, Coosa came out on top, 1-0, in a tightly contested match.

The Eagles got started early when Jonathon Morales passed to Brayan Cornejo, setting him up for a shot that gave the Eagles their lone goal — and the only one they needed, as it turned out.

Despite dangerous attempts by Armuchee, the Eagles kept the Indians at bay for the rest of the game with their high-pressure defense while improving to 8-1 in the region (8-2 overall).

For Coosa head coach Randy Vice, the win over a strong team like Arm-uchee (6-3, 5-3) solidifies the Eagles’ status as one of the best squads in the region.

“This win is huge,” he said. “Arm-uchee is a great team, and they did a phenomenal job. It was hard all night, and they had me scared in the second half.”

Indeed, in the second half, the Indians came out ready to erase their deficit.

But the Coosa defense stayed composed through severall ‘uh-oh’ moments and earned the 7-AA victory.

“I’m extremely proud of our defense,” said Vice. “We had some errors, but we recovered from them. That’s what’s key – not how many errors you make, but how you recover from them.”

Armuchee and Coosa each had 16 shots on goal on the night, emphasizing the competitiveness of the two teams.

Eagles keeper Justin Castro had five saves in goal, and Indians keeper Nick Gobel had nine.

Vice also noted strong play from Kevin Camacho, saying that he is “outstanding and one of the most determined players on the team.”

Armuchee coach Donald Bettler said he knew Coosa would be a tough opponent going in, and that he was proud of the way his team played.

“We knew that they have players who make their games happen,” he said. “Camacho is just a force for them, but I wouldn’t change anything we did. Hats off to coach Vice and his squad. They did a great job.”

Bettler praised the play of Harrison Brown, who stepped in as sweeper due to the usual sweeper, Brett Warner, tearing his ACL during the season.

Both teams will continue region and crosstown action on Tuesday.

Coosa will host Model, and Armuchee will travel to Pepperell.