Middle School girls soccer dominates Dawson in season opener

  • LCMS Lady Indians striker Ciera Brooks dribbles past a defender on her way to one of her three goals in Lumpkin’s win over rival Dawson County last week.
    LCMS Lady Indians striker Ciera Brooks dribbles past a defender on her way to one of her three goals in Lumpkin’s win over rival Dawson County last week.
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After rainy weather delayed the start of the 2020 middle school soccer season, the LCMS girls soccer team got off to a tremendous start to its season when the Lady Indians decisively defeated their neighboring rival Dawson County 7-0 in the team’s season opener on Wednesday, Feb. 19.
“I think the entire team, including the coaches, was ready to play a game,” said LCMS head girls soccer coach Bryan Fagan. “Practicing is important and truthfully the majority of what a team does, but games are proof of what the team has learned and can do. I can now, having seen how we play, design practice sessions that grow us as a team.”
The Lady Indians watched five different players find the back of the net versus the Lady Tigers in a match that Lumpkin controlled from beginning to end.
Eighth grade striker Ciera Brooks had a spectacular start to the season, recording a hat trick against Dawson. Brooks’ speed, power and deadly accurate leg made life difficult for the Dawson County defensive backline for the entirety of the match.
Kathryn Christian, Andrea Limehouse, Rileigh Rafttelis and Gracen Adams also got into the scoring action with a goal apiece in the lopsided victory.
“Offensively, I would keep an eye on Ciera Brooks,” Fagan said. “She’s an eighth grader that can score up front as a striker or out wide as a midfielder.”
Fagan added that some of his younger players should make a serious impact on the team this season as well.
“Two seventh graders I would keep an eye on are Gracen Adams and Kathryn Christian. Their presence on the field will help us offensively and defensively,” Fagan said. “Rileigh Raftelis and Kaitlyn Johnson are two starting sixth graders that have already proven why they are starting so young.”
The mix of experienced eighth grade players and the host of young talent makes Fagan believe that his squad will be able to continue the legacy of excellence Lumpkin County girls soccer has built over the last 10 seasons, but knows that in order to do that his players will have to work for it.
“Lumpkin has had some great teams and some great players in the last decade,” Fagan said. “I would say we have moved away from pockets of great players to a complete team of fundamentally sound players. We have great soccer clubs in and around Lumpkin County that are developing players year round. This year I am starting two sixth graders in my midfield and several more seventh graders are on the field playing important roles for the team. We are undersized in some areas, compared to teams in the past, so our ball control and movement will have to be sharp.”
Although Fagan isn’t much into hyping rivalries, he thinks the 7-0 season opening win versus the Lady Tigers is a positive step towards his team’s goal of returning to the championship game this season.
“Winning against a neighboring team is always a bonus, particularly a team like Dawson County,” Fagan said. “I personally don’t hype rivalry games, but I know it’s important to the community. Our goal as a team, regardless of who we play, is to learn more about the game and about ourselves. Big games, like rivalry games, definitely challenge both those areas.”
The LCMS girls soccer team will look to earn their second win of the 2020 season when they host the Fannin County Lady Rebels at the Burial Grounds at Cottrell Field at LCHS tomorrow, Feb. 27. Kickoff is scheduled for 4:15 p.m.