Tide soccer sweep weather-shortened openers
It was an exciting start to the 2023 season for the Long County Blue Tide football teams on Monday as they hosted the Jeff Davis Yellow Jackets.
The weather shortened both games as a lightning delay came into play at halftime of the girls game. Whatever the circumstances, the Tide came out with big wins to open the season as the Lady Tide won 1-0 and the boys won 4-1.
The Lady Tide knew they had a tough job hosting the Lady Jackets, who were 19-0 in 2022 before falling in the quarterfinals of the AA playoffs.
Despite the challenge and the youth of the Tide, they came close and dominated in the first half. They outscored the Jackets 13-3 and controlled the ball for most of the first half.
In the 4th minute, Yazmin Coronel bounced a cross towards Ruby Garcia, but the pass was off target. Ten minutes later, Morelia Ortiz had a shot on goal, but a diving save from Jacket’s keeper prevented the Tide from hitting the board.
Late in the half in the 32nd minute, the Tide had another push as Garcia attempted a breakaway on goal but was knocked down again. Makailah Quintero’s shot was blocked seconds later.
In the 37th minute, the scoreless tie was finally broken when Garcia took an assist from Macey Higgason and scored from inside the box.
Three minutes before the scheduled start of the second half, lightning caused a 30-minute delay.
It was decided that the second half would be shortened from 15 minutes to just 25 to try and avoid bad weather. A few minutes into halftime, however, a downpour began.
With no lightning in sight, play continued with the Jackets looking like a completely different team. They ended up beating the Tide 5-4 in the second half and controlled the ball on their side.
Four minutes later, Tide keeper Leora Hyde made an important save by leaping up and grabbing the ball just past the crossbar to hold the 1-0 lead.
Overall, the Tide outscored the Jackets 17-8 and Hyde made five saves in goal.
The boys took to the pitch with the decision being that the game would be played with halves of 30 minutes instead of 40.
The 13th minute proved lucky for the Tide as Austine Mwita scored a goalkeeper deflection to put the team ahead 1-0.
A ball from the hand on a pass destroyed a Connor Brown goal in the last two minutes of the half.
It looked like another Tide goal when Reyvin Contreras Hernandez kicked it in, but was called offside, keeping it 1-0 in the 38th minute.
The shot, however, was knocked into the waiting feet of Rapalo, who scored to put the Tide up 2-0. The Jackets looked to get on the board after a yellow card gave them a peek from inside the box, but Kamdyn Gramsch Milliken made another excellent save, jumping to knock it down and away. .
The last three minutes of the game were marked by a flurry of attacks from both teams and three goals in total between them.
In the 57th minute, Mwita’s shot into the box was deflected but it bounced and rolled to make it 3-0 and give Mwita his second goal of the night.
The Jackets as they finally entered the board in the 58th minute from a corner kick. Seconds later, however, Mwita completed his hat trick with a quick breakaway and a score.
The Tide was outscored 17-10. Milliken, however, played in goal for the Tide with 10 saves.
The Tide are now 1-0 and will travel to Hinesville on Friday to face the Bradwell Tigers.