DALTON, Ga. - For the first time in four matches, Dalton High School didn't need penalty kicks to decide the outcome of its soccer match against rival Southeast Whitfield.
The Class AAAA second-ranked Catamounts scored two second-half goals and defeated the fourth-ranked Raiders 3-1 at Southeast Whitfield on Friday.
Dalton received goals from Alan Pantaleon, Ryan Czyz and Eder Mora to improve to 6-0 for the young season, and 4-0 in Region 7-AAAA.
"I feel like after we scored [in the first half], we let them dictate the flow of the game," Dalton coach Matt Cheaves said. "We talked at halftime about how we need to control the flow of the game, because we'd create some more chances.
"I feel like as the game went on, the fatigue wore on them."
The Catamounts were relentless in their pressure against Southeast (1-1, 1-1). Their first two goals came off of follow attempts, with Pantaleon backing up a shot saved by Southeast keeper Abel Mendiola in the 13th minute. Eight minutes later, the Raiders equalized when Jorge Hurtado headed in a Victor Garcia throw-in.
Czyz put the Catamounts back in front in the 59th minute, and then on a set piece in the 70th minute, Mora put the match out of reach.
"We had worked on that in practice," Cheaves said of the final goal. "The situation allowed us to try it, and the guys executed it. It's nice to see that work in a game, because there's so much on the soccer field that you can't dictate."
Southeast coach Kevin Ketterling felt the team played well for their second match.
"For this being our first real test, we had a good first half, but I would have liked to see more sustained offense in the second half," he said. "We knew that with this being our second match, we'd be tested regardless of who we were playing.
"Dalton played excellent. They are well-disciplined and deserve top billing. We tried to nip at and hack away at the deficit but just didn't make much headway."