The Adairsville High girls soccer team was undefeated and in first place in Region 6-AAA almost all year.
However, the Lady Tigers chose the wrong time to take its first two region losses. They lost two region games this week, the last one to Calhoun Thursday with a region title on the line by a score of 4-0.
"We played great. [Calhoun is] just a little bit better than us,” Adairsville assistant coach Lance Hall said. “Our kids went out and played as hard as they could play; it was just not meant to be.”
Adairsville was playing without its leading scorer and top offensive playmaker in Cat Wheeler, who was out with an injury sustained earlier in the week against Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe.
“I don’t want to say if Cat played we would have won easy, but she’s our leading scorer. She scored 27 goals this year,” Hall said. “We had to move a couple of kids around. We didn’t do anything major but we moved some kids around.”
Calhoun scored in the 13th minute, and then a backbreaking goal just before Adairsville looked to escape into halftime with 17 seconds to go in the first half.
The Yellow Jackets then were able to add two garbage-time goals in the last minute to make the score appear more lopsided.
Despite the loss, senior captain and fullback Aleah Abernathy played well, as did senior goalkeeper Havyn Isaac. Hall said Isaac had one of the best games of her career. She saved a penalty kick shot, one of 14 saves she had in the game, and another Calhoun penalty kick missed the goal.
While the Lady Tigers are disappointed they are not region champs, they will still be a 2 seed in the Class 3A state playoffs. The first round will be Tuesday at Adairsville against the 3 seed out of Region 7, Lumpkin County.
Cass girls 3, Coahulla Creek 2
The Cass girls soccer team didn't want their season to be ending with a regular-season game against Coahulla Creek. But since that was the case, at least the Colonels went out a high note, downing the Colts by a 3-2 final score.
"I thought we had a pretty good performance to end the season," Cass coach Phil Phillips said. "We were a little slow out of the box, but we moved the ball well, just didn't finish."
After scoring in the 26th minute, Coahulla Creek looked set to carry a 1-0 lead into halftime. Madison Shook had other ideas, as the sophomore found the back of the net off a Logan Vermaas assist in the 38th minute.
"Everyone went kind of crazy," Phillips said of the goal. "Maddie has played her heart out all season, as a sophomore."
But it was fitting that it was a pair of seniors that scored in the second half to send Cass to victory. Vermaas struck just four minutes into the second half, and Lupita Pineda scored midway through the period for a 3-1 lead. Leidi Toribio and Shook provided the respective assists.
The Colts scored in the last minute, but it wasn't enough to spoil the final game for a successful Colonels senior class.
"They've done a fantastic job," Phillips said of his nine seniors. "To me, second to none. They've all been together for four years with the exception of Hailey Henson, who came to us as a sophomore. ...
"They did a good job of leadership this year, which is what we expected. They got a chance to go to the playoffs last year. We wanted to go back this year, it just didn't happen, but this senior class did a great job."
Allatoona 3, Cartersville boys 2
The Cartersville boys overcame an early 1-0 deficit to hold a 2-1 lead entering the final 20 minutes of Wednesday's road game at Allatoona. But the Buccaneers struck twice in those final 20 minutes to steal a victory by a 3-2 margin.
Brady Craig's first-half strike knotted the score at 1-apiece in the middle of the first half. Pedro Ghanem gave Cartersville the lead early in the second period, but two late goals by Allatoona spoiled the Canes' final regular-season game.
Next up for Cartersville will be Madison County in an opening-round matchup in the Class 4A state tournament at 6 p.m. next Friday in Weinman Stadium.
Allatoona 5, Cartersville girls 2
The Cartersville girls entered halftime tied with Allatoona at 2-2, but the Buccaneers controlled the second half to earn a 5-2 home win Wednesday.
Micah Vance scored unassisted in the 12th minute, and Kendyl Anderson finished off a pass from Abbey Craig for Cartersville's second 13 minutes later.
However, the Canes were held scoreless in the second half of their regular-season finale.
Cartersville will host Oconee County in the first round of the Class 4A state tournament at 6 p.m. next Thursday.
Calhoun 6, Adairsville boys 0
The Adairsville boys saw their season end with a 6-0 road loss to Calhoun on Thursday, as the Yellow Jackets scored three times on either side of halftime.
Tyrek Bryant had 21 saves for the Tigers before leaving with an injury. Noah Grisham stepped in and had nine saves over the final 20 minutes.