The Valdosta Daily Times
Call it a clean sweep for the Lowndes soccer teams over Kennesaw Mountain this week.
A night after the Lowndes girls earned a 2-1 win over the Lady Mustangs in the first round of the Class AAAAAA state playoffs, the Vikings blanked the Mustangs 2-0 Wednesday night, advancing to the second round.
“I am really proud. I am excited because we have started to do things that we know how to do at practice and we are translating that into games,” Lowndes head coach Jordan Breit said. “I’ve seen things out here tonight that get me really excited.”
The Vikings will host either Luella or Newnan in the second round of the state playoffs Wednesday night at Martin Stadium.
“We haven’t been here a lot this season, so any game we can get here extra is a bonus,” Breit said. “Icing on the cake.”
On Wednesday night, Lowndes did something it hadn’t done much of all season — score in the first half. Primarily a second half team, winning games this season in the final minute of regulation, Lowndes scored two goals in the first half and held on to the 2-0 lead throughout the second half thanks to pressure defense and tough goalkeeping from Caleb Dawson.
Christian Castanon scored the Vikings’ first goal in the 19th minute, giving the Vikings a 1-0 lead. Then, just minutes later, Pierre Castor, who moved to the United States after being displaced by the earthquakes in Haiti two years ago, beat all the Mustang defenders with his speed, pushing the ball to the left of the goalkeeper. Lowndes led 2-0.
“I think that is even with or maybe more than what we’ve scored in the first half all season,” Breit said.
“To come out and play a first half, that is just not what we have traditionally done this season. So, like I said, that is exciting to see us come out excited, focused and ready to play 80 minutes of soccer. It is a good thing.”
The Vikings held on to their lead throughout the second half, but Kennesaw Mountain had its chances. The Mustangs missed several close shots, and had some blocked by Dawson in the goal.
Breit said the Vikings’ win Wednesday night was because of the team’s hard work throughout practice and three to four years of development through the program.
“It is a testament to how hard they work everyday in practice, and their preparation for what we do,” Breit said. “Great boys and I can’t give them enough praise. They earned it tonight....A lot of these guys, I was here as a (junior varsity) coach and I coached them from freshman and sophomores. A lot of them moved up as juniors with me (to varsity) last year. So these are the boys I have kind of started as freshman and seen their progression. That is not something many coaches get the opportunity to do. I’ve enjoyed it.”