By Leila Dycus intern
On Tuesday March 11 the MCHS Varsity Soccer teams took on Apalachee High School at home. The Apalachee team would prove to be a difficult opponent for the Bulldogs shutting out both the boys and the girls. “I told the girls some days we will play better than other days,” said Coach Anne Stamps. “That’s a part of growing as a team.”
Although the game was tough for the Morgan County girls they did a great job of keeping possession and taking quality shots. Coach Stamps went on to say that the team came out flat and never recover. The game against Apalachee was a chance for Coach Stamps to encourage the girls telling them that as long as they stay positive and keep working there is no doubt that they will get better.
The MCHS Varsity girls lost to Apalachee 7 to 0. For the Varsity boys Appalachee lead 2 to 0 at the half, with one of the goals the result of a penalty kick. Coach Brandon York said the team had opportunities in the first half that they simply didn’t convert.
The Morgan County team was a bit under-sized compared to Apalachee but they still managed to respond with physical play matching their opponent. During half time Coach York talked to the team about playing the style of play that they were accustomed to and to aim to control the flow of play in the second half.
Appalachee, being a physical and deep team with speed, continued to hold their lead in the second. Appalacchee won the boys game 4 to 0. On Thursday March 13 the Varsity teams traveled to Putnam County to take on the Eagles. The game against Putnam was the team’s second time facing Putnam.
Coach Stamps said that this played to the Morgan County girl’s advantage because the team already knew that Putnam was strong and fast. Another aspect of the Putnam that the MCHS girl’s defense noted was that they were going to have to step up their speed of play and they did just that. Susanna Pepper and Madison Evans played hard in the midfield distributing the ball.
Amanda Anderson, who was recently moved to center forward, worked extremely hard in the game against Putnam winning multiple balls and taking many shots. Annie Akins, Mikayla Taylor and Anna Bryant also took shots on goal.
Akins took one shot that the goalie dropped and Anslyn Stamps steepped in drilling the ball into the goal for Morgan County’s first score of the night. Anslyn Stamps headed in her second goal as a result of a cross by Anna Bryant. The Varsity girls went on to beat Putnam 2 to 0.
After a tough loss earlier in the week Coach Stamps talked to the girls telling them how proud she was that they came out and played as a team. “I was glad to see that we are a team that can take a loss, learn from it, and move on,” said Stamps.
The boys also beat Putnam County Thursday. Coach York said that Putnam had a number of impact players out. York feels like the game would have been a different story had the Eagles been at full strength. “Still we did follow up on shots and opportunities in the attacking third, which we have talked about extensively this season,” said York.
Morgan County lead the Eagles 9 to 2 in the first half causing the second half to be shortened to 20 minutes. Despite missing a number of players Putnam responded with focus in the second half. They remained calm and strung together a number of quality passes and scoring opportunities.
Coach York said that the central midfield depth has lead to positive play. He was able to cycle Nic Connelly, Dillon Riedlinger and Luke Biscoglia in and out through the match keeping their legs fresh. They have brought an aggressive presence that has provided quality defense and passing to the table. The Bulldogs went on the beat Putnam 11 to 4.
Scores for the boy’s went to Ricky Mendez with four goals, Hogan Tuell, Jonathan Camacho with three goals, Dillon Riedlinger, Nathan Lundy, and Evan Watkins. The Varsity teams will begin region play this week with a match against North Oconee.