The East Jackson boys’ soccer team went 1-1 last week, defeating Rabun County handily, but falling to Dawson County.
On Wednesday, Feb. 20, the Eagles traveled to Dawson County on a chilly afternoon.
Down three starters, the Eagles quickly fell behind 4-0 after a Dawson County offensive surge.
“Strategically, with strong attackers making quick runs through the midfield, our defense had a habit of backing off, allowing the Dawson strikers too much space to shoot,” said coach Chris Cooley. “Our boys ended the first half 0-4 and low on morale.”
After some encouraging words from assistant coach Jack Friedman, the Eagle defense was able to step up and hold Dawson scoreless for the first 20 minutes of the second half; however, after a fast-paced and physical game, the Eagles showed fatigue and allowed three more goals in the closing minutes, falling to the Tigers 7-0.
“Dawson was a tough game for our boys,” added Cooley. “They were a strong and physical, quick and disciplined, completely deserving of their number six Georgia ranking, if not higher.”
Coming off the defeat, the Eagles hosted Rabun County the next day.
Aldo Martinez scored the Eagles’ first goal in the opening minutes of the game. Cooley noted his team’s ability to put steady pressure on the Wildcat defense, allowing for several corner kicks.
One of those kicks resulted in a goal-mouth scramble, which Jonathan Zarco converted into a goal.
In the second half, Rabun fought back to score two goals, but was unable to stop the Eagle offensive attack as Martinez, Ferry Vilchez and Noah Staples added a goal apiece to seal a 5-2 East Jackson victory.
The East Jackson girls’ soccer team also went 1-1 last week, defeating Rabun County 1-0, and losing to Dawson County 3-0.
East Jackson will travel to Cedar Shoals on Friday for a matchup with the AAAAA Jaguars. The girls’ game is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. The boys kick off at 7:30 p.m.
The junior varsity Eagles will host Jackson County on Thursday.