High School Soccer
Vikings close Cup with 6-2 win over Newnan
by Doug Gorman
For the first 40 minutes of Northgate’s 6-2 victory over Newnan to close this year’s Coweta Cup soccer tournament on Friday at Drake Stadium, the Vikings were out of sync.
At least 10 offsides calls in the first half slowed its offense and ended Northgate’s chances to put the ball on goal.
It also helped keep the Cou- gars stay in the game early as the two teams went to the break with a 1-1 tie.
“Once we calmed down a little bit, we were able to play well,” said Northgate head coach Bryan Hicks. “With the type of offense we run, we were called for several offsides, so it took us awhile to get going.”
In the end, Northgate caught fire in the second half scoring five times in the span of about 30 minutes while pulling away. Newnan (1-12) has kept games close in the first half, but has often had trouble shutting down teams in the final 40 minutes.
That was the case Friday night against Northgate (5-5-1) as the Vikings found several different ways to score in the second half.
Stephen Baxley found the net twice including on the opening goal of the second half for a 2-1 lead.
Brandon Stahl also scored twice for the Vikings in the sec- ond half, one on penalty kick.
Six minutes later Baxley added his second goal of the game for a 4-1 lead.
For a time, it looked like the Vikings were going to need Baxley’s second tally in order to give it a little bit of a cushion after Newnan stormed back with a goal to cut the lead to 4-2.
Colin Lambert set up what turned out to be the Cougars’ final score of the night when he was pulled down in the box setting up teammate Arturo Mata’s successful penalty kick.
The tally seemed to inspire Newnan, which kept pressure on goal with shots from Matt Crow and Wulf that went wide.
Northgate, however regained the momentum with the final two scores of the game, including Stahl’s final goal.
Michael Geres also added a late tally.
Northgate took a 1-0 lead midway through the first half when James Skalski headed in a corner kick from Brandon Rudd.
However, Newnan answered back a few minutes later, taking advantage of one of its first shots the game when a breakdown by Northgate allowed the ball to get past the Vikings defense.
Lambert was in the right place at the right time for the Cougars, directing the ball into the net to tie the game 25 minutes into the match to tie the game at 1-1.
Some bad luck also figured into the Vikings first-half struggles, especially late when David Noe, Jackie Cheng and Brandon Stahl missed chances.
Stahl had two of the Vikings’ best scoring chances in final two minutes of the first, but Newnan goaltender Jack Vargas came away with two incredible saves to keep the game close. Michael Glomba and Brandon Ruff had shots for Newnan in the first half but Cooper Morrison also stepped up with some big saves.