Late flurry lifts Trojans past Falcons

Split frame of boys soccer players in a game
Photo: Glenn Holmes

Times-Georgian/from staff reports

The Carrollton High School boys' soccer team found itself in a donnybrook in the opening round of the Class AAAAA state playoffs, but the No. 1 seed answered when it mattered most with a flurry of late goals for the 3-1 win over No. 4 Flowery Branch on Wednesday evening at Grisham Stadium.

The victory sets up a state semifinal rematch from last season with second-seeded Clarkston, which defeated No. 3 North Springs on Wednesday night in a 3-0 decision. Carrollton will host the Angoras (14-3-1) on either Tuesday or Wednesday.

In the round one tussle against the Falcons (8-8-3), the Trojans got out to the early 1-0 lead on an Alex Calix goal in the opening 15 minutes and it appeared as though they would take that score into the half, but a tough ruling off a free kick in the final seconds resulted in a penalty kick with less than two ticks on the clock for the 1-1 score at the break. 

"They put it in the box and there was kind of a mad scramble and the referee called a penalty kick with 1.9 seconds and they scored to tie it 1-1 right before halftime," Carrollton head coach Scott New said.

After several scoring opportunities in the second half went for naught for the Trojans (16-3), the match remained tied until just under the 10-minute mark when Marvin Gomez found the back of the net to regain the lead and Damean Dominguez delivered the dagger near the three-minute mark to officially reserve Carrollton's spot in the sweet 16.

"We were a little tight that first half and didn't quite play like we're capable of. The second half we played much better. We relaxed a little bit," New said. "We had a ton of opportunities. It was just one of those games where it didn't seem like one was going to fall and then finally Marvin had a really nice goal to get us up 2-1 and then Damean iced it at the end."

Having to go from a tough opening-round match to facing the defending state runner-up in the second round will keep the Trojans on their toes, but New is excited about the challenge and the opportunity to get another crack at Clarkston in the comforts of Grisham Stadium.

"We knew looking at the brackets that it was going to be good teams every round. So it's going to continue and we're going to have to play better next round than we did this round," New said.