The Long County Blue Tide soccer teams’ 2021 seasons are getting close to the end and the teams have both already locked up spots in the GHSA AAA state playoffs just a year after their seasons were cut short due to the COVID-19 pandemic. On Friday, March 26, the teams kept their seasons rolling with a key region matchup with Tattnall County.
The Lady Tide was looking to avenge an earlier 2-1 loss to the Battle Creek Warriors, but seemed to fall behind their rivals too early in the contest.
Despite a goal from sophomore Tainani Lucena in the second half, the Warriors pulled away with the 4-1 win.
The Lady Tide fall to 5-4 and 2-4 in the region with the loss.
The boys looked to repeat the 6-1 victory over the Warriors from earlier in the season, but the first half was much more closely contested than many believed it could have been.
It took until midway through the first half before either team took a shot on goal and it was in the 29th minute when the first goal was scored. Junior Gael Franco blasted a shot from near midfield and pushed it past the Warrior goalkeeper for the 1-0 lead.
Just three minutes later, it looked like the rout was on for the Blue Tide as senior Willie Ortega slipped a shot into the net to put his team up 2-0 with eight minutes left until half.
The Warriors finally got a goal past freshman keeper Kamdyn Milliken as the ball just eked past him through his legs. The Tide held the 2-1 advantage going into the half, but it only grew in the second.
Tattnall County looked to even the game up with a penalty kick attempt in the 48th minute, but Milliken made another great save, his fifth of the game.
Three minutes later, the Tide added to their lead as Carson Futch pushed a shot just past the Warrior keeper to give his team the 3-1 lead.
In the 72nd minute, Franco got his second goal of the day, this time on a free kick, to give his team some insurance as the Tide’s lead pushed out to 4-1, the eventual final score.
The Tide move to 7-4 and 4-2 in the region and have all but locked up the second spot in the state playoffs. Another region win in one of the next two region contests will solidify that distinguishment for the Tide.
The teams will travel to Baxley to face off against Appling County on Tuesday, March 30 before hosting Savannah Christian on Thursday, April 1 and Brantley County on Friday, April 2 in the final region contest of the season.