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Long County soccer starts season strong
Boys and girls beat Bryan, Liberty

The Long County boys’ soccer team has been on fire to start the season.
In the first week of action, they beat Bryan County and Liberty County by a combined score of 13-0 to go 2-0 overall and 1-0 in the Region 2-AA.

On Feb. 9, the Blue Tide played Bryan County in Pembroke for both teams’ first games of the season. They were region games.
Though Bryan County played hard, it was clear Long was the better team, winng 6-0.
Scoring one goal each for the Blue Tide were Luis Perez, Armando Orozco, Mark Rosas Delgado and David Mejia. Paul Cruz was the leading scorer with two goals.

Long County coach Paul Austin had only praise for his team after the game.
“I think we played together really well. Our defense did an amazing job, allowing only two shots on goal,” Austin said. “We still have plenty to work on, but I’m happy with our first game performance.”
With the loss, Bryan County fell to 0-1 overall and in the region.
On Feb. 11, Long County hosted neighboring county opponent Liberty in a non-region contest. The Blue Tide picked up where they left off in Pembroke by once again shutting down their opponent, this time 7-0.
Scoring a goal apiece for Long County were Orozco, Alex Maldanado and Jacinto Cruz. Ulises Franco and Mejia were the Blue Tides’ leading scorers with two each.

Austin said he was pleased with the team’s effort, but especially proud of the team’s defense.
Tuesday, the Long County boys had another region game in Ludowici as they faced Bacon County (0-1), but results were not available by press time. Friday, the Blue Tide are back home, facing region archrival Benedictine Military School (1-0). That game is in Ludowici and it begins at 7 p.m.

The Long County girls’ soccer team has notched back-to-back wins, starting the season 2-0 with victories over Bryan and Liberty counties.
On Feb. 9, the Lady Tide picked up their first Region 2-AA win by slamming the Lady Redskins 9-1 in Pembroke. Leading scorers for the Long County team were Nakia Hunter, Kylee Profitt, Carolin Krause and Jennifer Mejia.

Coach Sabrina Caines said her team had some loose moments, but played well for the first outing.
“We have a young team, and this was our first time playing together,” Caines said. “It took some trial and error to determine which combination of players worked best and there is always room for improvement, but I am proud of my team’s performance.”

Caines also praised the team’s defensive play in the second half and the play at goalie for the game.
“Defense came in strong during the second half after a rocky start at the beginning of the game,” Caines said. “Karelis Jones did an exceptional job for her first time in the goal. She was able to make some spectacular saves.”

On Feb. 11, the girls got their second win, knocking off neighboring county Liberty 4-0 in Ludowici. The leading scorers for the Lady Tide were Alexix Marrero, who put in three goals, and Krause, who scored once.
Caines said her team played well on defense, and that the bench played a big part in the win because of several minor injuries. The coach said all the injuries were minor and would not affect future games.

With the wins, the Lady Tide’s overall record is 2-0 and their region mark to 1-0. Liberty County fell to 0-1.
Tuesday night, the Lady Tide were at home, taking on Bacon County in a region matchup. Results were not available by press time. Friday, Long County is at home again, taking on region archrival St. Vincent’s Academy (1-0). That game will not be easy for the Lady Tide. The Saints are ranked No. 6 AA the state, according to The game is in Ludowici at 5 p.m.

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