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Grovetown teams eye playoff berths

Posted: Sunday, April 04, 2010

The Grovetown High boys and girls soccer programs took another step last week to earning playoff spots in their first season of existence.

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Both teams defeated their counterparts at Harlem High during Tuesday matches, with the boys winning 6-1 and the girls winning 4-0.

Warriors freshman forward Hanna Bright accounted for three of the girls goals.

Throughout the match, Bright positioned herself at the right place at the right time.

Bright's first score came in the first half off an assist from Naomi Yates. Yates lofted a pass directly in front of the goal for Bright to immediately punch it past Harlem goalie Leeanne Newberry.

Bright's second goal came early in the second half following a corner kick that went through Newberry's hands. Again, Bright was waiting.

On her final goal, Bright dribbled around the keeper to find open space on the right.

"She's probably the smallest person on the field, but she's a fighter," Grovetown coach Greg Young said of Bright. "She'll fight for every point."

In between Bright's second and third goal, sophomore forward Racheal Peloquin caught up to a pass from teammate Ashlie Miller at the edge of the goal box to net.

Grovetown was far more aggressive on offense, taking 16 shots on goal compared to Harlem's four.

On more than one occasion, the Bulldogs had the ball inside the goalie's box, but failed to finish.

The Harlem boys made some blunders of their own. Though they struck first with a slider goal executed by Christopher Overton, missed opportunities and mental mistakes plagued the team.

The second of three goals in the first half by Grovetown was the result of a ball slipping through the hands of the Harlem keeper into the waiting feet of middle fielder Jeffrey Montes.

The Warriors first goal of the second half came courtesy of Harlem fullback Bryce McDaniel.

Grovetown's Gabriel Warner took an arcing shot on goal. Though the keeper was in position to snag it out of the air, McDaniel rushed in with the intention of heading it away. Instead, he knocked the ball backward, over the goalie and into the net.

Warner later nailed a header of his own. Other scores came from Avery Henry, Joe Henry and Damian Robinson.

With a couple of wins from Evans and Lakeside, the Grovetown boys, 6-3 in Region 3-AAAA and 6-5 overall, can make the playoffs by defeating Butler and Glenn Hills in their final two games of the regular season.

"That's the thing we've been working for and what a thing it would be," boys coach Bill Madigan said. "These guys have worked hard and really have come together as a team for this opportunity."

The Warrior girls, 6-3 in region and 6-4 overall, also need wins over Butler and Glenn Hills to earn a playoff berth.

Harlem's boys are 3-5-1 in the region and 3-6-1 overall. The Bulldog girls are 5-4 in the region and 5-6 overall.



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