MOULTRIE -- Colquitt County boys soccer coach Jeff Morris was initially not pleased with having 11 days off between his team's last match and today's state playoff opener against Fayette County, scheduled to begin at 7:45 p.m. at Mack Tharpe Stadium.

But on second thought, " I think it may have played to our advantage," Morris said Tuesday.

"We were a little banged up. But now everybody's over their bumps and bruises. And this ought to be decided by the two teams, not just be a war of attrition."

Colquitt County's girls, who, like the Packers, finished second in Region 1-AAAAA, will play host to Newnan at 5:30 p.m. today in the first game of the state tournament doubleheader.

Region 1's playoff teams drew Region 4 teams for the first round of the playoffs this season and the format may have spelled trouble for Colquitt's girls.

The Lady Packers drew a Newnan team that is 15-3 and ranked No. 5 in the state, despite finishing third in Region 4-AAAAA.

All three of the Lady Cougars losses have come against ranked teams.

Newnan will come to Moultrie after losing its last game, a 3-1 overtime defeat at the hands of sixth-ranked Walton on April 30.

The Lady Cougars other two losses were to No. 1 McIntosh, by a 2-0 score, and No. 4 Starr's Mill, 4-1.

McIntosh and Starr's Mill are the two teams that finished ahead of the Newnan in the Region 4-AAAAA standings.

The Lady Packers, 13-5 overall and 7-3 in Region 1-AAAAA, have won their last four in a row, outscoring Warner Robins, Valdosta, Coffee and Tift County by a combined 18-1. The last three victories have been shutouts: 6-0 over Valdosta, 5-0 over Coffee and 2-0 over Tift County.

But the level of competition will spike considerably tonight against Newnan, which is making its second playoff trip to Moultrie in the last three years.

In 2001, the Lady Cougars ended the Lady Packers season with a 5-0 victory.

Colquitt will try to continue its stingy defense and seek to get some offense from leading scorers Leah Bradley (12 goals, three assists), Katherine Faircloth (seven goals, three assists) and Paxton Gehle (five goals, two assists). All three are seniors.

Colquitt County's boys will meet a Fayette County team that will bring a three-game losing streak to Moultrie.

One of those losses was a 3-2 decision against Region 1-AAAAA champion Lowndes on April 26.

The Tigers, the No. 3 boys team in Region 4, are 9-8 overall, but that record could be misleading.

"They play in a tough region and they get a chance to see that calibre of soccer every day," Morris said. "They are used to ving to play 80 minutes of soccer to stay with those teams."

The Tigers will force the Packers, 11-7 overall and 7-3 in Region 1, to increase their level of play.

"We've managed to get 60 or 70 minutes of soccer, but we haven't been able to muster 80 minutes," Morris said. "We've got to do that and let the chips fall where they may."

Morris and the Packers have the advantage of having watched Fayette County.

"We know who to pick up and who to pick up quicker," Morris said. "Our guys know everything they need to know to be successful against Fayette County.

"We've just got to play and see what happens. If we can just get them focused enough, we'll be able to compete."

Morris said his team has made few adjustments to get ready for the Tigers.

"If you're making adjustments for other teams now, it'll come back and bite you," he said.

Colquitt has relied all season on a strong defense led by Jim Faircloth, David Adcock and Austin Akridge.

Justin Harrison leads the team in scoring with 10 goals and seven assists. Austen DeMott also has 10 goals and has two assists.

React to this story:


Trending Video

Recommended for you