ALBANY — The Deerfield-Windsor soccer teams are back in the GISA Class AAA state playoffs, and they’re back to making things look easy.
For the second straight year, the Deerfield boys and girls soccer teams swept through the opening round of the playoffs Tuesday with a pair of dominating wins. The Knights cruised to a 5-1 victory in the opener against Bulloch Academy, and then the Lady Knights overwhelmed John Milledge, 7-0.
Aly Joslin, who coaches both DWS teams, said that after a rocky boys game, the girls overcame a second-half lightning delay and easily advanced to the Elite 8 in their pursuit for a second straight trip to the state championship game.
“It wasn’t pretty, but the boys managed to get through,” he said. “And then the girls were a lot more safe and secure. They played some good soccer and deservedly got through.”
Austin Graf, Lanier Freeman, Brandon Johnson and Chap Ivey all scored for the DWS boys, while Parker Morgan led the Lady Knights with three goals. Also scoring for the Deerfield girls were Cheyenne Colvin and Haley Kincheloe with two each. Goalkeeper Jordan Lane got the shutout.
SHERWOOD GIRLS 15, ARLINGTON CHRISTIAN 0: Sherwood girls coach Jason Schultz believes his Lady Eagles have a legitimate shot to compete for a state championship this season.
The Lady Eagles played up to that level Tuesday with a dominating victory against Arlington Christian to advance to the GISA Class AA quarterfinals.
“I’m excited, but I’m trying to hold that excitement in until we get past the quarterfinals,” said Schultz, whose Lady Eagles are now 18-2-1 overall and have won 12 straight games. “It’s going to be a fun road, and I am pumped for it.”
Sherwood is riding momentum after its best regular season in school history, and the No. 1 seed Lady Eagles stayed hot Tuesday against No. 4 Arlington Christian.
Hannah King led the way with three goals; Jordan Paramore, the program’s all-time leading scorer, added two goals; and Molly-Kate McLearn chipped in two goals. Sherwood, which jumped ahead 13-0 by halftime, also got scores from Katelyn Cuff, Christina Charles, Kylee Harrod, Kendalyn Stone, Bailey McDonald, Ashley Hughes, Lauren Sparks and Camille Railey.
Sherwood plays again either Monday or Tuesday at home against Trinity Dublin, a team the Lady Eagles beat 4-0 in the regular season.
“We have a pretty experienced team because a lot of our players play club ball,” Schultz said. “They are coming together. We have been young in the past, but now we are starting to get that maturity within the team. They have played a couple of years together, and now they are starting to gel.”
SHERWOOD BOYS 6, GRIFFIN CHRISTIAN 0: The Sherwood boys soccer team left Griffin with some good news and bad news after Tuesday’s GISA Class AA state tournament opener.
The good news: The Eagles are headed to the Elite 8 for the second year in a row.
The bad news: Frederica Academy is waiting for them.
Sherwood flexed its muscles in a shutout win on the road against Griffin Christian, but now the Eagles will have to go on the road again next week for a game against defending state champ Frederica, which also eliminated Sherwood in the second round last season.
Emannuelle Davis scored twice to lead the way Tuesday for the Eagles, while Odoey Koffie, Samuel Orr, Spencer Taylor and Dylan Evans all scored once.
It was an impressive road win for a youthful Sherwood squad that has no seniors and just four juniors.
“We have a very young team this year, so the results have come a little slower,” Sherwood coach Jeremy Davidson said. “But this is a really hard-working group of kids and a great atmosphere. This is a great group of kids that is excited to grow for the future.”