Rome's Junior Morente vs. Paulding County soccer

Rome’s Junior Morente (23) scored two goals during the Wolves’ Region 5-AAAAAA win against the Paulding County Patriots on Friday at Barron Stadium.

After a sluggish start, the Rome Wolves rallied for three unanswered goals to defeat the Paulding County Patriots 3-1 Friday at Barron Stadium. Rome has now won four in a row.

"I'm very proud," Wolves head coach Luis Goya said. "No matter who the contender is, we always try to compete at a high level. I'm pleased with my kids. We started a little weak at first, but towards the end, we started to put it up ... and show what Rome has."

Paulding County struck early for a 1-0 lead, but Rome found the equalizer when senior Emanuel Lom found space and scored on a low right-footed into the left corner of the goal with just over five minutes to play before the break.

"I knew our (energy) level was going to come back high (after Paulding County's goal)," Goya said. "We're going to come back strong like we did."

Goya's junior class would shine in the second half as Junior Morente tallied twice about five minutes apart. Morente's game-winning goal came courtesy of fellow classmate Victor Valencia, who weaved his way from the right sideline through Friday-night traffic and found an open Morente in space.

"Victor has been tremendous regardless of what position we put him in," Goya said. "They're just a great combination. What makes them different is the fact that they have been playing since they were four years old. Both of them are juniors and have played on the same team. They have this connection constantly with just because they know how they play."

With the victory, Rome (11-1, 4-1 Region 5-AAAAAA) holds sole possession of second place in the region race, trailing only Dalton.

The Wolves travel to South Paulding High School next Tuesday. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.

"We're shooting for hosting the first round of the playoffs," Goya said. "Great things are coming. We have a goal in mind and we're going to make sure we're not changing the way soccer is ... here, also the culture and also the people because we want to bring a (state championship) ring home."

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