The Armuchee boys’ soccer team proved Wednesday why it’s not a good idea to leave a match early.
Trailing 2-1 to the Model Blue Devils in Shannon, Armuchee’s Simon Wilson scored on a penalty kick with 48 seconds left in full time to send the game to extra time.
After both teams went scoreless in overtime, the Indians went on to top Model 4-3 on penalty kicks to come away with the 3-2 victory over their Region 7-AA rivals.
“We just kept pressuring,” Armuchee boys' coach David McLaughlin said. “We knew in that last 10 minutes we had to score to take it to PKs. We felt good about PKs, and we felt great about our keeper Alex Lyle. Alex made the difference saving two of them.”
Meanwhile, Model's girls racked up four goals in the first half as they held on for a 4-0 win against the Lady Indians.
The win against the defending region champions improves the Armuchee boys to 3-2-1 on the season and 2-0 in Region 7-AA play.
“Just winning that game is big,” McLaughlin said. “It puts us in a really good position because we know there’s a number of teams in our region you’ve got to win some games over, and Model by far is one of those teams.”
With the score tied 1-1 at halftime on goals from Armuchee’s Kody Manikas and Model’s Cooper Robinson, the Blue Devils (2-2-1, 1-1) took a 2-1 lead in the 65th minute when Liam Marshall headed in a goal on a corner kick from Ryan Patterson. The Indians however kept fighting despite being down.
“They just kept pressuring us and kept getting it into our box, and we had a hard time clearing it out. That’s where mistakes happen,” Model coach Donnie Mendence said. “We’ve got to play through it. We kind of settled in and thought we had it won. We’ve got to really put it away right there.”
The Lady Blue Devils' win improves the team to 3-1-1 on the season and 3-0 in region play — its two other region victories coming against Dade County.
“We’ve had a really great start to our season,” Model girls' coach Kacie Crowder said. “We have a deep bench. It’s hard to figure how who you want to give the playing time to when everybody is doing a great job. I’m really impressed with how the season is going.”
The Lady Blue Devils had a slow start to the game with their first goal coming in the 20th minute on a short kick from Lauren Akemon, but once the scoring started Model was hard to stop.
Libby Upton added to her team’s lead in the 25th minute on a corner kick from Anna Ruth Parker. Akemon’s second goal of the night game her team a 3-0 lead in the 30th minute before Parker gave Model a 4-0 lead on a goal of her own in the 36th minute.
Akemon, Upton and Parker each had an assist, and keeper Deyvis Reader had seven saves in goal. Armuchee keeper Caroline Ray had 13 saves.
Armuchee coach Mark Dulaney saw some positives in his team’s performance against Model. Armuchee falls to 3-2-1 on the season and 1-1 region play.
“It’s been up-and-down, but we’re off to a good start, even tonight,” Dulaney said. “The thing we asked the girls to do tonight was compete like crazy and just let it fly, and for the most part they did. We did some good things, and we found some things that we have to work on to win against the rest of the teams in the region.”
Model hosts Chattooga on Friday, while Armuchee is at Gordon Central.