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Tide girls blank SCPS, boys fall to Raiders
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The Long County Blue Tide soccer teams are wrapping up the 2023 regular season as they are both just one win away from clinching spots in the state playoffs. The girls got to that position with a big 2-0 win over Savannah Christian on March 21 while the boys just missed out on clinching, falling 1-0.

The Lady Tide entered Tuesday’s game 8-3 and 2-1 in the region, needing to beat the Raiders to put themselves in a position to still earn a home game in the state playoffs.

Midway through the first half, Macey Higgason’s shot was just barely tipped away. Three minutes later, the Raiders were awarded a penalty kick after a foul deep in the box.

Keeper Leora Hyde tracked the shot well, however, diving out and knocking it away to preserve the 0-0 tie. The Raiders outshot the Tide 9-6 going into the half.

Five minutes into the second half, the Tide had a chance to score again as Makailah Quintero looked to make a move on goal. She took a pass from her fellow freshman Higgason and her shot was blocked up and over the crossbar, leading to a corner kick.

Quintero got her chance for redemption in the form of an assist. She found Sara Barnes five minutes later, who pushed the ball into the net to give the Lady Tide a 1-0 lead.

In the 54th minute, Quintero found Barnes again as she extended the Tide’s lead to 2-0. A minute later, Quintero took a pass from Higgason and shot on a wide open look but it just grazed the crossbar.

The Lady Tide held on to the 2-0 lead after not allowing a shot on goal in the second half and only allowing only one shot the entire final 40 minutes. They outshot the Raiders 12-1 in the second half.

With the win, the Lady Tide improved to 9-3 and 3-1 in the region, putting them one win away from clinching their 10th straight playoff berth.

The boys game was another defensive slugfest as both teams went back and forth for most of the first half. Israel Riley’s shot in the 12th minute was swatted away before it could get into the upper corner of the net.

The No. 7-ranked Raiders had a chance to score with 10 minutes left in the first half, but keeper Kamdyn Gramsch-Milliken stopped a long shot from outside of the box.

The scoreless tie was finally broken with three minutes left in the first half as the Raiders scored off a header from a throw-in.

The Tide nearly tied the game up at the buzzer as Victor Chihuahua’s shot from the left side of the goal bounced off the left upright as time expired.

The Raiders’ goal in the final three minutes of the first half proved to be the only one of the game. Gramsch-Milliken made another great save 12 minutes into the second half in open space to keep the visitors from extending their lead.

Chihuahua had another opportunity to score as he had a free kick near the box in the 62nd minute. He aimed for the top corner of the goal but it was knocked away. That ended up being the Tide’s final chance to tie the game.

With the loss, the Tide fall to 9-2-1 and 3-1 in the region. They are now in a must-win situation in their final two region games to have a chance to host the first round of the state playoffs.

Both teams host Savannah Country Day on Thursday, March 30 in the regular season finale.

Boys’ head coach Paul Austin, with 99 career wins, is still looking for his 100th win as a coach.

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