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Gator Girls take second at tourney
Members of the Hinesville Gator Girls are, first row: Melaja Alford, Isabella Martinez Makayla Robinson and Nia Binning; second row: Athena Dumadag, Ariana Dumadag Madison Burriss, Lloya Stevens, Angel Oldham, Morgan Thomas; third row: assistant coach Josh Ortiz, head coach Deborah Robinson - photo by Photo provided.

The Hinesville Gator Girls 10U soccer team came in second place in the Annual Piggly Wiggly Shootout March 24-25 in Charleston.
According to head coach Deborah Robinson, her No. 10 ranked Georgia team started strong earning a win in their first game of the tournament. They beat the MPRD Thunder Strikers, 4-1.
Gator Makayla Robinson scored two goals while Lloya Stevens netted the other two.
In game two, the Gator girls were up against an aggressive squad from South Carolina, the LCSC U10 ID CHAMP. Robinson was able to put one in the net, but it wasnt enough as the Gators fell short, 2-1.
Robinson said her girls had enough points to earn first place in the bracket and advance to the semi-finals.
The Gators faced the AYSO United and edged out a 2-1 victory.
“It proved to be a tough one,” Robinson said. “They battled to the end, fighting for the victory that they had traveled so far for.”
Stevens scored a goal and Athena Dumadag scored another from a corner kick.
“Gator goalie Isabella Martinez had two remarkable saves at the goalie box while Ariana Dumadag was able to knock one out near the net on the other end as the United girls attempted to tie it up.”
The win sent the girls to the championship game to face the Cainhoy Crew of South Carolina.
The coach said her team was considered the underdog, but that motivated her team.
“The girls had a rough start, letting Cainhoy Crew score early, leaving us to fight back,” Robinson said. “Robinson, along with Dumadag and her sister Athena Dumadag kept on attempting to strike on the front line while the defensive line, Nia Binning and Melaja Alford kept sending the ball up field. Stevens continued to work hard in the midfield, giving support to the front line.”
The coach sent players from the bench lending support.
“Maddie Burris, Morgan Thomas and newcomer Angel Oldham were sent in for the fight,” Robinson said. “Martinez played remarkable in the goal, fighting off numerous attacks.”
The girls were down 3-0 at the half but battled in the second half to tie, 3-3.
“The girls managed to fight their way through two five-minute overtime periods and a 45 minute lightning delay, taking them to a penalty kick shootout, by far in what was the most exciting and intense game of the tournament,” Robinson said.
But the Gator girls lost by one penalty kick. The girls took home the second place prize.
“We are so very proud of these girls,” Robinson said, also praising assistant coach Josh Ortiz. “Josh has been a very valuable asset to the club. We are happy to have him.”
The girls started the season with the Savannah Chatham County league, winning their first two games. The girls’ next tournament will be the Georgia State Rec Cup in Columbus.

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