Sometimes the hardest goal to score is the first.
That was the case last week when the Greenbrier boys soccer team played host to the Hardaway Hawks in the first round of the Class AAAA state tournament.
The top-seeded Wolfpack had a number of chances to score in the first half, but it took a Luke Waechter penalty kick with less than five minutes left in the half to get on the board. The Wolfpack scored three more times in the second half and rolled to the 4-0 win.
“You’re always looking for the first one,” Wolfpack head coach Chip Warren said.
“If we had got that early, it would have been a different game as well. Anytime you get a goal, it takes the pressure off.”
Hawks goalie David Scott was a major factor. He made seven of his 17 saves in the half. He forced Waecther to be perfect to score on the penalty kick.
“He went the right way and dived, and he’s so tall I thought he would get it. But I placed it just right,” said Waechter, who put the ball in the lower right corner of the goal. “I knew it was an important moment. It helped us pick up our intensity.”
Playing in his first state playoff game, Logan Tihey was the big goal scorer for the Wolfpack. Tihey scored on a rebound at the 26:42 mark, then put the ball in a wide-open net at 18:24.
Thompson scored the Wolfpack’s third goal, rewarding Reed Norton for a well-placed pass.
The Wolfpack play host to Chattahoochee at 6 p.m. Tuesday. Chattahoochee knocked off Habersham Central.
Wednesday night, the Greenbrier girls took the suspense out of their game early, scoring less than two minutes into the contest.
Greenbrier went on to beat Northside-Warner Robins 3-0 in the opening round of the girls’ tournament.
Senior Bay Daniel set up freshman Raven Rose on the right side of the goal and she slid the ball into the right side of the net with less than two minutes gone in the game.
Dani Wright found Daniel nine minutes later for a score and the Lady Wolfpack never lost control.
“It was great to score early, especially getting two early,” Lady Wolfpack head coach Wes Kendrick said.
“I think it kind of slowed my girls down thinking they were going to just cruise on through, and it didn’t happen.”
Greenbrier (18-0-1) peppered the Lady Eagles’ goal with 22 shots in the first half. Lady Eagles goalie Anna Maddux stopped seven of the shots, and the Lady Wolfpack saw some good looks go by the board.
Entering the second half leading 2-0, Greenbrier struck quickly once more. Daniel worked down the left sideline and got the ball to Katie Belser in front. Belser’s initial shot went off the left post, but she quickly banged home the rebound.
The Lady Wolfpack play host to Lambert in the state’s second round at 6 p.m. Wednesday.