The THS Soccer Dogs fell to Westside 2-1 in regional play March 20 at Thomson.
“Westside came to play,” head coach Zack Tucker said.
“They’re a good team. They haven’t lost a game in the region, and they came to play. And for the first 40 minutes or so, we didn’t.”
The Dogs held the Patriots of Westside scoreless for much of the first half, but with 9:06 remaining in the half Westside slipped the ball past the Thomson defense and scored the only goal of the half.
“We’re doing OK on defense,” assistant coach Brad Adams to his players during the halftime break. “These guys are dribblers, make them pay for it.”
“Start playing with intensity,” Tucker added.
The Dogs seemed to respond to the halftime instructions, but with 29:43 remaining in the game, Westside scored their second goal of the night.
Thomson promptly responded with a goal of their own when Will Land put the ball into the net with 27:31 remaining.
“Their left defender was pretty weak, and I kept playing him physically,” Land said after the game.
“The ball came in from the left and I got it past the second defender. Their goalie thought I was going far side, but I went near and just sent it into the back of the net.”
Both defenses held their own for the remainder of the game, and the score remained at 2-1 in Westside’s favor at the end of regulation.
“When we decided to show up and play, we had the ball in our half for most of the second half, and scored a goal off of it,” Tucker said.
“But you have to show up against these teams. You can’t show up lackluster and expect to win any games at this point in the season.”
“Will’s goal was beautiful, though,” he said.
“We fought for the ball and they turned it over, Will got it, dribbled past a couple of defenders, and put a perfect shot in. That’s what we’re capable of doing when we play like we’re supposed to. We can score against anybody in 30seconds. But we have to see it for the entire game.”
Thomson traveled to play A.R. Johnson on Friday, and faced Harlem at home on Tuesday. The play host to Grovetown Friday at the Thomson soccer field. Game time is 7 p.m.