Boy's Soccer

COOSA HIGH SCHOOL BOYS SOCCER

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CHAMPIONSHIP BOUND !!! Eagles head to Mercer for State Title Game !!

EAGLES HEADED TO STATE CHAMPIONSHIP
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Tommy Romanach, Rome News-Tribune
Staring into the distance and shaking his head, Coosa senior midfielder Eric Chavez found it hard to comprehend the last two weeks.
One second the Eagles are celebrating a region title, the next they’re playing for a state championship.asdf
Coosa’s boys’ soccer team never appeared to lose its confidence Tuesday afternoon and dominated for 80 minutes in a 4-0 win over visiting Thomasville in the Class AA semifinals. The victory sets up the Eagles’ first-ever trip to the state championship game.
“It is just a crazy feeling, man. I had never even won a region title before this season,” Chavez said. “It has just all gone by so fast. We just kept playing like we know we can and now we’re here. It’s such a blessing.”
Coosa senior Jose Reyes led the team with a goal in each half, while Jorge Lopez and Daniel Vines each added a score. Meanwhile, goalkeepers Juan Cornejo and Gavin Hughes pitched a shutout, with Cornejo recording nine saves and Hughes making six.
The Class AA state title game will be held Saturday at 2:30 p.m. at Mercer University in Macon, where the Eagles will take on Benedictine. Coosa has scored three or more goals in 10 straight contests, outscoring opponents 21-3 in their four state playoff matches.
“We are a team that grew up playing with each other and we know how each of us plays,” Chavez said. “We know what moves are coming and that’s what makes us better than most.”
The Eagles (20-2), just like in their previous three playoff matches, never appeared threatened as their quick and athletic forwards and midfielders wore down Thomasville. Any scoring chance by the Bulldogs was typically thwarted before it reached Cornejo.
Lopez, who has led the team in goals in the postseason, got things started when he dribbled through the left side, split defenders and got the ball past the keeper in the ninth minute.
A healthy supply of corner kicks and attacks from all sides wore down Thomasville’s defense, and the team finally committed a foul in the box. Reyes finished a penalty kick to put Coosa up 2-0 just before halftime.
The Bulldogs (10-10-3) tried to move up their attack to start the half, but could not get a shot on goal for the first 10 minutes. The Eagles have now recorded 12 shutouts this season and have allowed multiple goals only four times all year.
“That is how mentally prepared this team is,” Coosa coach Ruben Maldonado said. “We aren’t screaming from the sideline, these guys just know how to react to adversities. And they did that time and again.”
After stopping a Thomasville attack in the 56th minute, the ball got played up to Reyes, who got ahead of his defender then struck the ball past the goalie for his second score. Vines scored only a minute later coming from the right side to put the match out of reach.
After the match, Coosa players and coaches walked across the field to their fans and applauded them for all of their support following the team’s final home match of the season. There is one match to go, but Maldonado wanted to celebrate his team and what it had accomplished.
“I’ve been saying it for the last month and a half, but our guys are in top physical condition. And they proved it today,” Maldonado said. “Today we proved it. We proved that this small community in Northwest Georgia has got what it takes to make a state championship.”Coosa took pride in playing aggressive early and letting its athletes up front play their style. 

EAGLES WIN Elite 8 Round of State Playoffs, Host Final Four

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Tommy Romanach, Rome News-Tribune
All season, Coosa took pride in playing aggressive early and letting its athletes up front play their style. That strategy didn’t change when the Eagles reached the playoffs, and now it’s taken the program somewhere it’s never been before.asdf
Coosa scored three goals in the first half and cruised in the second half as the Eagles held on for a 3-1 win against Putnam County in the Class AA quarterfinals in Coosa.
With the win, the program is headed to the semifinals for the first time in history. The Eagles host Thomasville on Tuesday afternoon in Coosa with a chance to make it to the AA state championship game.
“Coosa is making history. We are making history. For the first time ever we are making the semifinals,” Coosa coach Ruben Maldonado said. “I can hardly control myself, I’m so proud of these guys and coach Medlock. This is all for them, this is all for our boys.”
Freshman forward Jorge Lopez finished with two goals, while senior Eric Chavez scored a goal and Daniel Vines had an assist. Meanwhile, goalkeeper Juan Cornejo recorded eight saves including some mammoth stops to maintain the lead late.
Coosa (19-2) never seemed fazed against a Putnam team that had won its previous two playoff matches by a combined score of 15-0. The Eagles’ plan was to strike early, get their opponents out of their game and ride off the initial momentum.
The strategy worked to perfection when Lopez scored his first goal off a through ball from Vines in the 11th minute. Less than 20 minutes later, Chavez scored on a powerful strike from the right corner of the box, giving the goalie no chance.
“We just told ourselves we needed to pressure the ball and play like they were any other team,” Chavez said. “We just went out there and played, at this point we weren’t going to change how we played.”
But the highlight of the day came just before halftime, when Lopez flew down the left side, made moves to get past three defenders and buried the ball past the keeper.
While impressive to the fans, these were the kinds of moves Coosa teammates and coaches have seen all year from the freshman phenom.
“That is a freshman with college and MLS potential,” Maldonado said. “I’m telling you, he’s just amazing. And thank goodness he is only a freshman for us. I can just imagine how much he’s going to grow.”
Putnam County (15-3-2), which had allowed three goals only twice all season, had suddenly allowed three goals in one half. But the team regrouped early in the second half, when its corner kick turned into a Coosa own goal, making it 3-1 with 31 minutes left.
As Putnam got more desperate it began to move up its attack formation, with players like Gio Sanchez and Luis Lopez getting chances. But Cornejo put them all away, whether the shot was right in front or required full extension.
“Juan was just fired up today,” Maldonado said. “He left the team for a period of time this season, but we talked him into coming back and thank God. Because witho when he stepped off the field Wednesday evening. But after watching his team take over in the final 30 minutes of their state playoff game, he still was able to smile and be proud.

EAGLES WIN 2nd Round of State Playoffs, Host Elite Eight

Coosa soccer coach Ruben Maldonado was as exhausted as his players when he stepped off the field Wednesday evening. But after watching his team take over in the final 30 minutes of their state playoff game, he still was able to smile and be proud.
The Eagles attacked visiting Berrien through long shots and constant possession as they outlasted the Rebels for a 4-2 win in the second round of the Class AA playoffs in Coosa. It is the first time in more than six years the team has reached the Elite Eight.asdf
“All I can add today is that our guys were in top physical condition today,” Maldonado said. “We were getting cramps in those final minutes but we fought hard and kept going. Just shows the condition we were in when we needed goals down the stretch.”
Jorge Lopez scored two goals, both of them coming in the second half. Chandler Hubbard and Julian Perez each scored a goal on long shots in the first half, while goalkeeper Joan Cornejo recorded seven saves.
After Berrien tied the game at two-all early in the second half, Coosa began to take over possession and force more attacks on its opponent. This started with a perfect pass that gave Lopez a breakaway and easy score in the 55th minute.
Coosa (18-2) scored again when Lopez got an empty net after the Berrien goalkeeper mishandled a shot from the right side. In between those scores, the Rebels had very few chances as they never held the ball for long.
Maldonado was quick to not only compliment his players, but his assistant coach Richard Medlock for helping push the team as the match wore on.
“Everything is thanks to coach Medlock, all these wins we have had,” Maldonado said. “These kids believe in him the same way they believe in me, and he deserves all the credit for these wins with what he’s provided, no doubt.”
The first 20 minutes of the match did not produce a dominant attach as both teams fought over possession and had their brief chances near the goal. It was clear the Eagles were not due for another 10-0 win like it had against Jordan in the first round.
The Rebels (11-8-1) finally broke when Perez scored on a free kick from the left corner of the box in the 32nd minute, just beyond the reach of the keeper. But Berrien responded as Christian Faulkner scored the first of his two goals on a rebound just two minutes before halftime.
Then, seconds before halftime, Hubbard let off a strike from near midfield that fell perfectly in between the goalie and the net. The sudden momentum for Coosa carried over into the second half as the Eagles finished off the match.
“We had seen a few times that their goalie came out pretty far when he punted the ball,” Maldonado said. “He hit the ball right to Chandler, and I told him from the sidelines to crank it. He did and it worked out pretty well.”
Coosa plays at home again this Saturday when it hosts Putnam County. While finishing second in its region, Putnam has won its first two playoff matches by scores of 8-0 and 7-0.


EAGLES WIN 10-0 in First Round of State Playoffs

PHOTO BY T Romanch, RN-T
The goals were going to come.

The Coosa soccer team took its time and eased into its first round matchup on Wednesday night.

But once the goals started coming, the Eagles quickly made it clear how they earned a No. 1 seed in the first place.asdf

Coosa scored nine goals in the first 51 minutes of the match, including seven goals in a 21-minute span as it defeated Jordan 10-0 via mercy rule in Coosa. It’s only the second time all season the Eagles have reached double digits in goals scored.

“It certainly took us awhile to get going,” Coosa coach Ruben Maldonado said. “But I knew once we got a few goals to start the second half and it was going to be over.”

Jorge Lopez led all Eagles with four goals and one assist, while Jose Reyes had a goal and two assists and Julian Perez had one goal and one assist each. Four other Coosa players scored a goal, while goalkeeper Juan Cornejo made seven saves.

Coosa (17-2) began the scoring as Aaron Camacho stole the ball and scored in the first ten minutes, and Reyes followed with a goal only a few minutes later.

But as the Eagles attempted to get a feel for the Red Jackets, they struggled a little to get decent looks.

The Eagles were awarded with two Penalty Kicks in the first 35 minutes but missed both, as eyes shot the ball wide on one and Perez was saved on his attempt.

Jordan (2-8-1) finally began to break with Lopez’s first goal in the 32nd minute, and two more goals before the end of the half followed. It was a clear sign that even when things went wrong, Coosa was ready to regroup and keep plugging.

“This just goes to show the type of mentality these guys have,” Maldonado said. “In the past, sometimes they couldn’t overcome things and there would be finger-pointing. But we talked about how to handle those things.”

With the early jitters out of the way, Coosa came out in full attack mode to start the second, resulting in four goals in the first 12 minutes. Lopez was part of three of those goals, always being around the net to either set up or be the open man.

Most of Coosa’s starters were taken out after the ninth goal, and the final score came with four minutes left in the game, as a strike from Dante DeLira ended the match.

In the second round, Coosa plays Berrien, a team that finished second in Region 1-AA and has won its last six matches. Maldonado and his team knows it only gets harder from here, and that aggressive offensive attack must be present for every minute.

“The next match is not going to be as easy, and we have to prepare for that,” Maldonado said. “And we need to get ready mentally and physically. What we take away from this game is the mistakes we made and how we can work on that.”
EAGLES WIN REGION CHAMPIONSHIP


PHOTO BY JEREMY STEWART
The goals were going to come. Coosa coach Ruben Maldonado knew it.asdf
Even after his team fell behind early in the first half, even after 60 minutes of close calls, he knew his team would break through in its most important match of the season. And when that first goal did come, the second wasn’t too far behind.
After trailing Pepperell for most of Thursday afternoon, the Eagles tallied three goals in the final 20 minutes to defeat the Dragons 3-1 at Lindale. The victory gave Coosa the Region 7-AA title and the No. 1 seed entering the Class AA state playoffs next week.asdf
“I said it from the beginning, that we were going to go out there and beat them,” Maldonado said. “Give Pepperell a lot of credit for how they fought. But we knew when we were down 1-0 we just needed to score one and the next one would come easy.”
Coosa (16-2, 13-1 7-AA) earned goals from Chandler Hubbard, Nohel Paz and Jose Reyes, with Aaron Camacho notching an assist. Pepperell’s Slamon Ghani scored the team’s only goal, while the Dragons’ defensive back line negated every Coosa attack for the first 60 minutes.
Pepperell (11-5-1, 11-3) came out aggressive to begin the match, eventually resulting in a goal for Ghani in the 11th minute. But Pepperell began to back off in its attack and Coosa started winning more balls in the center field, thus controlling the possession.
“When we came out in the second half, we decided to set back and protect the goal,” Pepperell coach Brian Crick said. “But I kept telling them we had to push up. What was happening was they kept getting those balls in the circle and they kept creeping in on us.”
The Dragons got a chance in the 58th minute when striker Ramiro Alanis broke past the defense and netted what looked like a second Pepperell goal but he was called offside.
Coosa’s consistent pressure paid off on corner kicks. One from the left side found Hubbard in the middle of the goal to notch the game 1-1 with 16 minutes left to play.
Eight minutes later, a corner from the right side reached the far post, where Paz was waiting to head it in. Maldonado credited the two scores to the consistent work his team does in practice during the week.
"Those were two corner kicks that the coaches had put together for a while,” Maldonado said. “I’ll take a little credit for the second one, but it came down to the guys executing the play.”
Pepperell had one more chance minutes after Paz’s goal, but a corner kick for the Dragons quickly went awry. Reyes led a corner the other way, eventually drawing a foul inside the box. The penalty kick swept to the right of Pepperell keeper Rigo Mandujano and became the game’s final goal.
Both teams will advance to the Class AA state playoffs and host first-round contests next week. After making it through Region 7-AA with only one loss, Maldonado knows his team can make a run.
“The kids have been pretty focused to begin with and that only increases,” Maldonado said. “They never gave up today. They always kept fighting. Everybody kept their heads up all game long, and that is most important.”

EAGLES DOWN ARMUCHEE, PLAY FOR REGION TITLE
COOSA BOYS 6, ARMUCHEE 1
Photo: Jeremy Stewart, RN-T
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Jose Reyes, Eric Chavez and Julian Perez each scored two goals to help carry the Coosa boys’ soccer team to a 6-1 win against Armuchee on Monday.Juan Cornejo stopped a penalty kick and had three saves for the Eagles.  Coosa will next face Pepperell on Thursday in Lindale to decide the Region 7-AA champion.

EAGLES DOMINATE GORDON CENTRAL
Rome News Staff Reports
The Coosa boys soccer team remained at the top of Region 7-AA standings and notched a 5-0 victory against Gordon Central on Tuesday in Coosa.
Jorge Lopez and Julian Perez each scored two goals for the Eagles, putting the team up 4-0. But the play of the game came when Orlando Lopez scored on a free kick from 40 yards out, a line drive that was beyond the goalie’s reach and made it 5-0.
Coosa also received assists from Eric Chavez and Jose Reyes, while Juan Cornejo notched three saves for the shutout.
The Eagles (13-2, 11-1 7-AA) play again this Friday when they travel to Model.

EAGLES FALL TO PEPPERELL ON PK's
Photo and Story by Jeremy Stewart, RN-T
A meeting between the top two boys’ soccer teams in Region 7-AA had been brewing for a while, postponed because of weather and other factors. When Pepperell and Coosa finally met on the pitch in 2017, the match saw both teams fight to the finish and then go a little more.asd
The Dragons’ Ivan Sandoval completed a long shot on goal to tie the game at 1-1 midway through the first half and Jimmy Rivera would put in the winning penalty kick in a shootout to give Pepperell the 2-1 win Saturday afternoon at Coosa High School. “We got here today and I told them, ‘Boys, you ever just wake up with a good feeling that today is going to be a good day,’” Pepperell coach Bo Crick said. “Sure enough, God came through. That’s good.”
It was the Dragons’ second match to end in a shootout in three days following their loss to Model on Thursday. They came out pushing the ball on the Eagles early, finding plenty of chances early on that failed to meet the back of the net.
Coosa (11-2, 9-1 7-AA) got on the board first, taking advantage of a situation that found Jorge Lopez able to head in the ball on a long pass from Eric Chavez in the 11th minute. Eight minutes later, Sandoval placed a booming kick to the top of the goal just above Coosa keeper Juan Cornejo.
The score would remain the same for the next 71 minutes of play, including overtime, with Sandoval coming close to putting Pepperell ahead a few times but getting met by Cornejo’s skills in goal.
In the shootout, Lane Koch, Sandoval and Ramiro Alanis made penalty kicks for the Dragons, while Pep­perell keeper Rigo Mandujano maintained his steadfast work in goal by saving the first two Coosa attempts. Nohel Paz-Calderon had his kick go off Mandujano and get in to give the Eagles a point in the shootout.
But Rivera took the next PK for the Dragons (8-4-1, 8-2) and sent it to the right as Cornejo dove left, ending the shootout with a 4-1 advantage for Pepperell.
Both teams are back in action Tuesday with Coosa hosting Chattooga and Pepperell visiting Armuchee.

EAGLES DOWN TOUGH JACKET SQUAD
RN-T Staff Reports
Some quick thinking inside the box gave the Coosa boys’ soccer team a win over Region 7-AA opponent Rockmart at home Friday evening.
Jorge Lopez scored goals on two deflections off of Rockmart’s keeper to lead the Eagles to a 3-0 win.
Lopez scored in the 27th and 67th minutes before teammate Jose Reyes scored on a breakaway in the 71st minute.
Coosa keepers Gavin Hughes and Juan Cornejo split time in goal to record the shutout. Hughes recorded five saves in the first half while Cornejo had four.
The Eagles (10-1, 8-0 7-AA) will be off next week for spring break before returning to action April 6 at home against Dade County.

EAGLES Defeat Dade
Coosa boys 8, Dade County 0
Coosa’s Jorge Lopez scored four goals and the Eagles posted an 8-0 win against Region 7-AA foe Dade County at home Thursday.
Lopez opened the match with a goal in the fifth minute and then scored in the 28th and 30th minute to close out the first half. His final goal came in the 51st minute.
Jose Reyes, Chandler Hubbard and Eric Chavez each scored a goal and had an assist for the Eagles (11-1, 9-0 7-AA), while Fixel Bustos scored the final goal.
Daniel Vines and Joshua Martinez each recorded an assist.
Coosa will host Pepperell on Saturday at 12:15 p.m. in a key region contest.


EAGLES MANHANDLE MODEL
SOCCER: Coosa boys 5, Model 0
The Coosa boys’ soccer team continued its hot start to Region 7-AA play with a 5-0 win against Model on Tuesday in Coosa.
The Eagles scored four goals in the first half, beginning with Chandler Hubbard and Nohel Paz scoring in the 12th and 14th minutes. Hubbard’s goal came off of a corner kick by Aaron Camacho. Jorge Lopez scored only seven minutes later, and Junior Guzman scored two minutes after that.
Model only allowed one goal in the second half, a score from Guzman in the 74th minute. Coosa’s Jose Reyes had two assists.
Coosa (8-1, 6-0 7-AA) plays at Dade County on Thursday while Model (6-4, 4-3) hosts Rockmart.

EAGLES DOWN DADE ON THE ROAD
SOCCER: Coosa boys 5,Dade County 1 
The Coosa Eagles made the trip to Dade County on Thursday and came back with a 5-1 victory over the Region 7-AA opponent.
Nohel Paz and Jorge Lopez each had two goals in the match, with Lopez heading in a corner kick from Aaron Camacho in the 14th minute to open the scoring. Camacho then scored on a corner kick as the ball swerved from the corner and past the keeper.
Coosa (9-1, 7-0 7AA) will be at home today as they face Rockmart at 5:30 p.m.