Reaching the halfway point of the regular season on Tuesday, the No. 4 Carrollton High School boys' soccer team was able to continue its dominance at home with a 2-0 shutout over visiting East Coweta.
Trojan head coach Scott New was pleased with his top-10 squad being able to pick up another non-region victory, especially against an Indian team that he's become familiar with throughout his tenure.
"East Coweta is always a good, physical team," New said. "It's a rivalry that we've had for several years and we enjoy playing those guys."
The home team came close to securing its first goal of the night midway through the first when a Damean Dominguez shot within the goal sailed over the post. Roughly one minute later, an Alex Calix shot attempt missed just to the right, leaving the Trojans and East Coweta (4-2-2) scoreless.
With 4:30 remaining in the first stanza, Carrollton finally broke through when Marvin Gomez set the freshman forward Dominguez up for a goal to put the Trojans up 1-0. They'd maintain that one-score advantage over their Indian counterparts heading into the half.
After a tame first 30 minutes of the second half, things started to get chippy late with East Coweta receiving multiple yellow cards down the stretch. Coming off a free kick, the junior Gomez fired Carrollton's second goal of the night with 7:28 remaining to put the icing on the cake for the Trojans' fourth straight victory.
New talked about his team's approach on offense versus East Coweta and its ability to create scoring opportunities.
"We've been doing well with our possessions lately. They had a lot of people in the middle, so we wanted to find some space out wide to work and we did," New said. "We were able to get some runners out wide and get some good crosses in. Work the ball out, get the ball in and create some good shooting opportunities."
Nine games into the season, the Trojans have seemed to picked right up where they left off with last year's Class AAAAA final four club. The veteran head coach cites the mix of returning production from last season and new faces stepping up as reasoning behind the successful start to the campaign.
"We've played a lot of good teams. The schedule has been really tough and we did that on purpose because we knew we had a lot of guys back this year to get us ready for the playoffs. I think we've grown and have gotten better," New said.
"We're playing three freshmen and they're starting to step up and understand their roles more while jelling with the team we had last year. We feel like we're in a good spot, but we also know that we have some work to do."
Beginning with a home showdown versus Hiram this Friday at 8 p.m., Carrollton now enters a critical four-game stretch against Region 7-AAAAA foes, where it will go head-to-head with the likes of Villa Rica, Paulding County and No. 2 Rome.
The head coach is banking on health and the depth that he has on hand to carry them through the rigorous stretch.
"Luckily, we've been fairly healthy up until this point. We have a lot of depth, which is a strength for us. We're able to move a lot of people in without too much of a drop-off and that's been really beneficial for us over these last few years," New said. "Because of that, we've been able to wear teams down in the second half. Being able to put fresh bodies in and rotate people has given us great opportunities to score against good teams."