NGAC Soccer: Heritage girls, Lakeview boys beat LaFayette in finals
The Heritage Lady Generals scored six times in the first half and tacked on five more goals in the second half as they invoked the mercy rule on LaFayette, 11-1, in the finals of the North Georgia Athletic Conference tournament last Monday evening at Saddle Ridge Middle School.
The East Division champions got four goals and two assists from Lane Lawrence and hat tricks from both Sophia Venable and Sophie Roberts in the victory. Venable also assisted one three other goals and was later named the tournament’s Most Valuable Player.
Emily Schoenborn scored the other goal for Heritage, while Lexi Besh picked up an assist.
The win completed a perfect 14-0 season for the Navy-and-Red, who outscored their opponents by a combined 925. The 92 goals scored was a new program record.
LaFayette trailed 2-1 early after a goal by Bailey Tarvin, but Heritage would find the back of the net four more times in the final 15 minutes of the first half to take control for good. shot from 25 yards out caught LaFayette keeper Beau Thrash leaning a little too far to his left as the ball took one bounce and skipped into the back of the bag.
Lightning would strike again for Lakeview just 56 seconds into the second half. Thrash knocked down a shot from just inside the box, but Ethan Wofford was there to knock home the rebound and give the Warriors a much-needed cushion.
After struggling to find any scoring chances for most of the match, LaFayette’s offense finally began to find some gaps and the Ramblers nearly converted with just over seven minutes to play as a shot whistled just wide of the goal.
LaFayette would finally get on the board with 2:20 remaining on the clock. Max Studdard found a seam down the heart of the defense, but was taken down in the box before he could get off a shot. Julian Murray stepped up to hammer home the ensuing penalty kick, slicing the lead in half.
However, some final defense from the Lakeview backline, led by Yousef Hamid, kept the Ramblers from getting off another shot as the Warriors claimed the championship hardware and capped a 12-1 season.
Erik Martinez, who had 26 goals on the season, including a hat tricks in four straight games earlier this season, was later named the tournament’s MVP.
Thrash came up with eight saves for the Ramblers.