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Lady Tide blank Warriors, boys win in PKs
0206 Blue Tide logo

LUDOWICI -- On Monday, March 7, the Long County Blue Tide soccer teams hosted their biggest games of the season as they faced off against bitter region rival Tattnall County. Both teams won as the Lady Tide won 2-0 and the boys won by beating out the Warriors 6-5 on penalty kicks.

The Lady Tide came into the game having just lost their first region game against Pierce County the Friday. They looked to bounce back and it looked like they would do that early in the game.

Junior Tainani Lucena took a pass and got open past the Lady Warrior defense. A minute later, Vilma Santos made some fancy moves and had a shot, but it was just stopped by the Warrior keeper.

Santos had another look three minutes later and it would have been good had her shot been about a foot to the right. In the 19th minute, Leslie Sotelo decided she wanted to get on the action.

She weaved through Warrior defenders and looked to boot home a shot at the goal, but it was just knocked away. The game slowed down until the final three minutes of the half.

Lucena pushed a pass up to Ava McNeel, who looked to get a goal. However, the Warrior keeper made a great diving save to preserve the 0-0 score.

In the final minute, the Tide had an open goal as keeper Leora Hyde lost her footing on a save. Leila Rosas did a good job knocking the ball away, but that set up a corner.

The Warriors nearly scored in the last ten seconds, but Hyde was able to knock the ball away as time expired.

The second half was hot as 12 minutes in, Melanie Ontiveros had an open look. Her shot was just tipped by the Warrior keeper as the score remained tied.

A minute later, the Warriors had a look, but Hyde was just able to get up enough to tip the ball over the crossbar.

Santos again took over as she used her small frame to zip through the Warrior defenders, but her shot was knocked away. She finally scored in the 64th minute as she took an assist from McNeel.

Yuridia Sellars wanted to get in on the action as she got open from the right side. The ball was knocked away, setting up a corner.

With ten minutes left, Sellars got another look from goal as she took the ball from midfield and ran all the way down to the goal. She lost control as the ball sailed out of bounds.

Santos finally got on the board again in the 73rd minute as she took a pass from Sellars and connected to give her team the 2-0 win.

The Lady Tide outshot the Warriors 12-5, 7-1 in the first half. The Tide move to 3-6 and 3-1 in the region.

The boys took the pitch as they brought in their biggest rival. Since the 2017 season, not including last season, either the Tide or the Warriors have won the region championship with Pierce County winning in 2021.

This year seems no different as the Warriors came into the game 9-0 and ranked number one in AAA according to MaxPreps. The Tide were 7-1-1 with a number four ranking from MaxPreps.

The Warriors immediately showed why they were one of the best teams in the state as they used an aggressive attack to get right to the goal. In the first six minutes, they had two looks, but both headers were tipped by sophomore keeper Kamdyn Gramsch-Milliken.

In the eighth minute, The Tide scored the first goal of the game. Chris Ortega took a pass from Gael Franco and pushed a shot past the keeper to go up 1-0.

12 minutes later, Ortega was alone and looked for an open shot, but he was just stopped by a Warrior defender. The Warriors took back over as they got down to the goal, but it was Ortega’s turn to play spoiler as he slid to make the save.

Less than a minute later, Ortega scored again as his shot rebounded off a Warrior player to make the score 2-0.

The score held for the next 12 minutes as Orlando Tellez-Baltazar’s header missed and Franco just missed to the right of the goal.

The Warriors finally got on the board as Andrew Fermin’s dribbler barely slipped past Milliken. Milliken was given the chance to make a play again as he dove out to make a save as the Tide led 2-1 at the half.

Five minutes into the second half, the Tide extended their lead as Victor Chihuahua got an open look from outside the box, but pushed forward before taking the shot as the Tide went up 3-1.

The Warriors wasted little time answering the Tide as Santos Marquez took a shot from outside the box and it zipped past Milliken to make the score 3-2.

In the 59th minute, the Tide were set up with a penalty kick after a foul inside the box. The foul also led to a red card against the Warriors, which gave the Tide a man-up advantage the rest of the game.

Ortega could not connect on his third goal of the game as his penalty kick shot was just stopped. Four minutes later the teams got into a scuffle, but there were no penalties or ejections given.

The Warriors were set up with a free kick in the 64th minute at midfield. The kick got over the heads of everyone, including Milliken, as the Warriors tied the game 3-3.

The Tide looked to seal the game late as they got four attempts on goal on corner kicks in the last two minutes, but time ticked away as the game went into extra time.

In the first ten-minute period, Ortega’s shot on goal was deflected before Milliken pulled down a great save seconds later.

In the 85th minute, the Warriors tried to score on a free kick, but the attempt went just over the crossbar. Two minutes later, the Warriors took their first lead of the game as they got a shot from outside the box.

In the second period, the Warriors tried to play keep away and did until the final two minutes. A shot from Tellez-Baltazar was knocked away but pulled the keeper out of goal.

Franco took advantage as he banged a header into the net to tie the game at four. Time expired as the game went to penalty kicks.

In the first penalty kick period, each team gets five shots. Chase Giron, Carson Futch, Franco, Chihuahua, and Ortega all connected, but the Warriors made all five of theirs to make the score 5-5.

Each penalty kick after the first period is sudden death. David Flores lined up for the shot as he got it past the Warrior keeper. Jesus Marquez lined up for the Warriors, but his shot left was just too high as Milliken was able to get a fingertip on the ball and send it into the crossbar as the Tide won 6-5 on penalty kicks.

With the win, the Tide move to 8-1-1 and more importantly 4-0 in the region. The teams will travel to Nahunta to face off against Brantley County in another huge region game Thursday, March 10.

They will travel to Baxley next Thursday to face off against Appling County and return home to host Pierce County on Tuesday, March 22. 

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