Gordon Central swept Armuchee in varsity soccer Wednesday at Ratner Stadium by final scores of 2-1 Lady Warriors and a 7-0 shutout for the boys.
Head coach Matt Wiley, who coaches both the GC girls and boys, picked up his first two region triumphs of 2020.
Lady Warriors pick up first W
The Gordon Central Lady Warriors held off the Armuchee Lady Indians 2-1 for their first victory of 2020. Kyndall Cain and Carlee Brock scored in the effort.
“It’s exciting because we’ve missed so many games I feel like with rain,” Lady Warriors head coach Matt Wiley said. “It was a good confidence booster. Armuchee’s got a good team, but I’m excited for the girls. Very happy for them.”
GC took a slim 1-0 advantage into halftime, but Armuchee found the equalizer just 1:53 into the second half. About halfway through the second half, with a mass of traffic in front of the net, Brock netted the eventual game-winner past Armuchee’s goalie.
“They played well together as one unit. They passed the ball well (and) they communicated,” Wiley said. “We started the first half of the game with a lot of shots on goal. We did not net a lot of those. We had Kyndall’s first one and then after that, we went kind of stagnant. (Armuchee’s) keeper played very well. The biggest thing was our speed and making sure we played and won the ball in the midfield.”
Lady Warriors goaltender Sophie Gaither held the Lady Indians in check down the stretch as the team moved to 1-2 overall and 1-0 in Region 7-AA.
“She’s clutch all around,” Wiley said. “She’s just got great hands, she’s got a great presence back there (and) she stays calm. We switched the goal kicks to Cora (Stepp). Just trying to take the load off of Sophie because she goes so much. One less thing for her to have to worry about and she can focus on staying in the box.”
Wiley said he loved the team’s energy throughout the 80 minutes.
“The girls had some great energy coming into the game and even into the halftime,” Wiley said. “You could see they were just running. They were ready to play again. I’m very excited for what potential they do have. Fix a few things and I think we’re going to be running strong.”
Warriors remain undefeated
In an even-more-freezing-and-wet environment, the Gordon Central Warriors shut out the Armuchee Indians 7-0.
“I just want the momentum to keep going,” Wiley said. “Armuchee’s a good team. The score is not indicative of the kind of team they are. We have a lot of speed ... and I think that was a difference maker.”
Gordon Central’s speed and ball movement were on display all night long. The Warriors jumped out to a 2-0 edge as Richard Barrios and Zeke Parada each scored their first goals to the game less than 10 minutes in.
“I knew up top what Zeke possessed and I knew he’s a threat,” Wiley said. “I told the guys if we got out there and we can feed the ball through and let Zeke run with it, it’s going to throw the defense into a whirlwind. They won’t know how to react immediately because he’s so fast. The other guys underneath can now relax and play the ball knowing that as soon as they send it, he’s gone.”
GC began the second half up 3-0 but quickly found the back of the net again as Charlie Garcia and Parada tallied before 10 minutes had passed.
“I told the guys we’re not a one-trick pony,” Wiley said. “We have to be better this year than we ever have before. These guys have to pass the ball well. I said I don’t care who scores, but it needs to be a lot of people. That’s what’s going to make us a problem for other teams.”
Despite multiple offsides calls, the Warriors were able to successfully send the ball past the Armuchee defense, and several players had breakaway chances.
“They’re all feeding the ball well,” Wiley said. “Owen (Morales) goes out there and is the most selfless person. He just waits patiently, passes and feeds the ball. He’s my set man so it’s the unwritten heroes that get the credit tonight.”
Brayan Rico and Isai Torres rounded out the scoring for GC.
With just over five minutes to go in the game, the Indians had a prime opportunity to break up the shutout bid, but GC goalie Armando Sanchez made the save to preserve the goose egg.
“Our region has a ton of talent,” Wiley said. “I would argue ... he’s got to be the best keeper in probably part of northwest Georgia. I’m sure Dalton and Rome have great keepers, but Armando’s in a class with those kids. He could hang with them. He’s great.”
Gordon Central travels to Model on Friday to battle the Blue Devils. Kickoff for the girls’ game is scheduled for 5 p.m. and the boys will immediately follow at 7 p.m.