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Teams look to improve in TaxSlayer Border Classic

Posted: March 19, 2017 - 2:26am
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Lakeside’s Chris Turner (16) is congratulated by his teammates after scoring the game-winning goal against Aiken on Thursday.

Columbia County soccer teams tried to make the most of the three-day TaxSlayer Border Classic.

In the early slate of games in the soccer event at Blanchard Woods Park, Lakeside's Chris Turner scored in the final two minutes to help the Panthers pull out a 1-0 victory over Aiken on Thursday. The tournament finished late Saturday.

The Lakeside boys were locked in a tight battle with Aiken throughout. The Panthers missed several opportunities around the net, but Turner, a freshman midfielder punched in a shot in front of the net just before the end of regulation.

"Patience is one thing we've been trying to get through all season," said Lakeside coach Jonathan Martindale, whose team lost to Westminster, 2-0, on Friday. "We've had times where we've looked to possess the entire half and we still just can't get in the goal. Possession really helped us this time, because I felt like it really opened up opportunities that have not been there in previous games."

The Evans boys lost to Deerfield-Windsor, 4-1, on Thursday; The Knights bounced back to defeat Augusta Christian on Friday. Winning, Evans coach Brian Killips said, wasn't the most important thing in the tournament. Instead, he tried to work different players into the lineup after three starters went down the previous week with season-ending injuries.

"We're trying to work some things out," Killips said. "It's a totally new look with a lot of guys who have never played before who are now seeing the field."

Kamryn Nobles, Madyson Chase and Kylee Earnest all scored for the Lakeside girls in their tournament-opening win over Atlanta International, 3-0. The Lady Panthers were back to full strength after several players missed contests a week earlier to illness or injuries.

"This week is about getting back to how we normally play," said Lakeside coach Nick Edmond, whose team dropped its next two games. "This tournament is all about getting better overall before we get back into region play."

The Greenbrier boys won the event its played host to the previous three years. The Wolfpack opened with a victory before falling in penalty kicks Friday night to Oak Ridge and then lost Saturday morning to Walton, 4-1.

"We've been very fortunate last year and the year before to lose very few if any in PK shootouts," Greenbrier coach Graeme Connolly said after the loss to Oak Ridge. "The boys worked extremely hard and did well to get a goal against a solid back line. That is one of the most physically strong high school teams I have seen in some time."

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