Published May 31, 2007
The Pinecrest Academy boys varsity soccer team defeated Holy Spirit Preparatory School 2-0 on May 12 to win the inaugural Georgia Independent School Association spring boys soccer tournament at Stratford Academy in Macon. The Paladins, 11-1 going into the tournament, had to fight not only a tough rival but a haze of thick smoke caused by the south Georgia fires, to pull off the win.
This season was the team’s first, and head coach Bryan Galloway noted that his “goal was to put a competitive team on the field. The boys stepped up to the challenge, and this win was just icing on the cake for us.”
During the first half, the Paladins maintained control of the game using the entire field as they were patient waiting for their opportunities to go to goal. Pinecrest pulled ahead at 29 minutes, after a brief battle in front of the Holy Spirit net resulted in freshmen forward Kevin Metz being fouled and drawing a penalty kick. Senior defender Luis Domenge came through with the kick, and Pinecrest carried a 1-0 lead into halftime.
The second half was evenly played with both teams battling up and down the field. Pinecrest held a majority of the possessions, but Holy Spirit created their chances with a couple of breakaways. Holy Spirit’s best opportunity came with a free kick from around the 22-yard mark. Senior goalkeeper Eric Quintana, who has had eight shutouts this season, set up his wall, then deftly deflected the kick to hold on to the lead.
The Paladins sealed the game with 16 minutes to go when a long ball put junior forward Mario Hoffmaister and Kevin Metz alone with the Holy Spirit defenders. Hoffmaister played a ball through to Metz on the left side at the eight-yard line, which Metz turned and put in the back of the net.