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Tigers ready for second round
web soccer
Bradwell’s soccer team travels to Warner Robins today to play Houston County in the second round of the state playoffs. In front (l-r) are Ethan Deemer, Joey Lliso, Cody Graham, Matt Colon, Marcell Barton, Jordan Teft and and Marcus Haygood. In back (l-r) are Brian Shanken, David O’Hagan, Chris Schuster, Mark McGuire, Timothy Matavao, Chris Cardon, Nick Prater, Trey James, Michael Griffin, Daniel Lee, Reginald Battle and Michael Charlton. - photo by Photo by Jimmy Courier
Last Wednesday, Bradwell Institute’s boys soccer team made history by winning its first state playoff match, 3-1 over Union Grove.
Tonight, they hope to make more history as they play Region 1-AAAAA champion Houston County in Warner Robins at 6.
Houston County, ranked No. 8 by, defeated Tri-Cities 1-0 last week in overtime.
Unlike Bradwell, Houston County is no stranger to the post-season. The Bears advanced to the playoffs the last three years and the quarterfinals the last two years.
If the Tigers want to end the Bears’ quarterfinals streak, they must play well in the midfield, according to BI coach Greg Cooke.
“We have got to work on moving the ball through the midfield,” he said. “Midfield is key.”
Cooke said the Tigers will stick with the same plan that has brought them success all season.
“In the game of soccer, you put your best foot forward and our strategy is not to play to their strength but make them play to ours,” he said. ”If we do that, we can have a very good spot. If we switch our play, we could run into trouble.”
Cooke stressed the importance of having confidence when playing a perennial playoff team.
“When you play a big team in the state, you have to go in to win and our guys have that attidude and feeling,” he said. “It’s going to be a great game and a great game to watch and hopefully our palyers show what they can do.”
Bradwell’s forwards will be challenged by a stingy defense, that has not allowed more than two goals in a game. For the season, the Bears are giving up an average of .6 goals a game, while scoring an average of 3.5 goals a game.
Bradwell’s defense, however, can also boast.
Led by senior goalkeeper Michael Griffin, the Tigers have shut nine teams out and allow an average of .7 goals a game, while scoring an average of 3.1 goals a game.
“Our defense is right there with them,” Cooke said. “I see a game of two great defenses. We have a strong offense and a strong defense. It’s going to be a battle of who wants it more.”

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