DWS boys soccer coach Aly Joslin has turned around the program after it went 1-15 two years ago and 9-9 last season. On Saturday, the Knights were on the verge of the GISA Class AAA state title game, but fell short, losing to Stratford, 3-0.
MACON — It was a bitter ending to a beautiful run — one that started three years ago and didn’t wind down until a group of 10 seniors had lifted Deerfield-Windsor from oblivion into the state semifinals.
That’s where the magical, never-to-be-forgotten ride ended Saturday night in Macon in a 5-0 loss to Stratford Academy in the GISA Class AAA semifinals — right there on the brink of the state championship game.
That would have been the next stop for DWS, which turned itself into a soccer power with a combination of guts, glory, skill and a unique blend of togetherness that made this group so special to third-year head coach Aly Joslin.
“I’ve never met a group of boys who were so different and pulled themselves together to achieve so much,’’ Joslin said. “Two years ago we were 1-15 and these 10 seniors have brought this program from that mark to where we are now, in the Final Four.’’
DWS, which won the Region 3-AAA title and advanced to the Final Four with a dramatic 1-0 victory against Augusta Prep in the final minute of overtime with a goal from Jonathan Jones, finishes the season at 14-4 with two losses to Stratford, which played for the state title a year ago.
Forget the 5-0 final. The game was much closer, but DWS goalkeeper Don Scozarri, who didn’t give up a goal until the 20th minute of the game, was hit with a red card late in the first half with DWS trailing just 2-0. Deerfield went to its backup goalkeeper Brantley Talley, an eighth grader.
Talley performed well, but Stratford (13-3-1) fired 13 shots at the DWS net and three found their way in for the 5-0 final with the last two goals coming in a two-minute span late in the game.
Still, Joslin and Deerfield walked away with few regrets.
“They left it all on the field,’’ Joslin said. “I couldn’t have asked any more of them.’’