0416SOCCERAUDListen to Flowery Branch coach Katie Wood talk about the win over Chestatee on Tuesday that secured the Lady Falcons of the No. 2 seed in the region.
It began with two goals by Lady Falcons’ sophomore forward Lindsay Porter in the first half and ended with a bang off the foot of senior defender DeLana Thomas who, on a direct kick with two minutes left in the game, gave Flowery Branch its fifth and final goal in a 5-2 win over Chestatee on Tuesday at Chestatee.
With the win, Flowery Branch (12-5, 9-1 Region 7-AAA) clinched the No. 2 seed out of Region 7-AAA for the state playoffs and will play at home April 25 against Riverwood, the sixth-ranked team in Class AAA and No. 4 seed out of Region 5-AAA, in the first round.
“We are just so excited to have a home playoff game,” Flowery Branch coach Katie Wood said. “It’s always an advantage and Flowery Branch is a great school. They’re so supportive of all the athletics and the student body is very enthusiastic so I cannot wait, it’s going to be amazing.”
With Tuesday’s loss, Chestatee (10-8, 7-3) will be the No. 4 seed out of Region 7-AAA and will travel to Roswell on April 25 to take on the No. 1 seed out of Region 5-AAA, and Class AAA No. 1-ranked, Blessed Trinity.
The Lady Falcons held a 2-0 lead going into halftime thanks to two goals by Porter. The first goal came at the six minute mark on an assist by Thomas, the second five minutes later on a right-footed shot.
Porter went for a hat trick in the first half but her efforts were thwarted by the halftime buzzer and the referees who waved off her goal.
“Lindsay’s had a good year for us, she’s competitive and driven,” Wood said. “She worked over spring break with her dad on some of her shooting so obviously that extra work and practice is paying off for her.”
Porter had five goals in the Lady Falcons’ win over Lumpkin County on Saturday.
“Hopefully her performances this week will give her confidence going into the state playoffs,” Wood said.
Chestatee cut it to a one-goal differential 10 minutes into the second half on a direct kick by senior Megan Fligg, who accounted for the Lady War Eagles’ only two goals of the night.
The constant offensive pressure that Flowery Branch thrived off of throughout the game proved itself following Chestatee’s first score when, 32 seconds after the fact, Ally Wellborn hit the first of her two goals in the game.
“We started out a little bit sloppy but made up for it with work ethic,” Wood said. “I’ve been looking for that from them all year...they really wanted this game, they wanted the home playoff game and I would have to say it rivals our best game this season.”
And not just offensively, Flowery Branch’s defense led by Thomas was virtually impenetrable by an offense that came in averaging 2.5 goals per game.
“Thomas is the anchor of not only the defense but this team,” Wood said. “She’s constantly positive and supportive of everyone on the team...her along with the other seniors. They deserve as much credit as she does and our defense has been very strong since we put Delana (Thomas) back there.”
Tuesday’s game marked the regular season finale for both teams which means a week and a half layoff until the first round of state.
“Our focus is going to be keeping focused,” Wood said regarding the next week and a half of practice. “We just need to make sure that we stay focused and that we know what we’re up against.”