By R. Alan Richardson Sports Editor
Morgan’s soccer teams had a busy week with three matches scheduled. The first match with GMC was cancelled due to rain and ice, but they were able to get the other two in against North Oconee and Putnam County. The Lady Dogs split the two matches losing 7-0 to AAAA powerhouse opponent North Oconee before bouncing back against Putnam 10-0 to get the win. Coach Anne Stamps commented, “Against North Oconee, a high quality team, we faced a squad that had already played five games. We went in there with no game experience under our belt still trying to figure out where all the pieces fit out on the field. We’ll get better and better as the season progresses with that experience, especially for our younger players. The Putnam game was a good thing for us as it gave us a chance to get all our available players some good minutes and move players around. I am very pleased with our versatility of players and excited about what we have available to put on the field. Our six seniors are doing a great job of leading the team.” Scoring for Morgan in the contest were Anslyn Stamps with five goals, Susanna Peppers with four, and Annie Akins with one.
Even though the boys didn’t fare as well in the win column, there were a lot of positives coming out of their two matches. North Oconee went to the round of eight a year ago and is generally in contention every year in the state playoffs in AAAA. They took a 3-1 win against the Dogs in what was a tight game at the half. Sophomore Yusif Baig, who is also a member of the State Championship basketball squad, scored a goal right before the half to tie things up 1-1. However, the team strength of North Oconee showed in the second as they outran the Dogs for the victory. Coach Aaron Paul said, “We played phenomenally well the entire game. I was pleased overall, but we need more time together on the field in game-like situations. We’re still trying to figure out who we are. Our team is young with a lot of good sophomores with four of them starting for us. Most of our varsity subs are also sophomores. Despite the weather we played well and I was absolutely happy with them in all aspects of the game both on and off the field. We showed a lot of class.” The Dogs played in back-to-back games the next night against a solid Putnam County team with Morgan taking the 4-0 loss.
The team seemed exhausted from the previous night’s game and Putnam took advantage of it with their fresh legs. Paul again commented, “Putnam has several quality players that play on club teams with some of our guys. They are a very good team with a 3-0-1 record. Our subs stepped up and played well due to the fatigue of some of the starters. Grant Friddell, Carlos Hernandez, Patrick Griffin, and Sam Kuperberg all played well and gave us a lift.” The JV boys took a tough loss against Hart County losing 4-3 in a tight match at home. Coach Craig Roberts was able to get all his players in the game and move players around to get all the younger players some game experience. Three goal keepers were used with Collin Sitzmann playing well in the net. Ben Adams, Jack Davis and Finn Williams all scored goals.