Playing on April 30, the girls defeated Gainesville 4-1, moving them to round two on May 7. The boys played on May 1, losing 3-0.
Girls’ head coach Joel Sullivan said the team “came out against Gainesville with a desire to assert ourselves on them and never let up.”
“We accomplished that and felt we dominated the game from start to finish,” he said.
Moving on to round two the Lady Wolfpack will play Northview, a team Sullivan said he knows “very little” about, but they had a “great season” with a 14-2 record.
“It’ll be a battle on Tuesday night… We have to play the entire game as if it were the final three minutes and the game was tied at 0-0. So we can’t have any let ups,” Sullivan said.
Regardless of whether his team goes past this round, Sullivan said the team achieved their goals for the season and “it feels well deserved” as they played this season “selflessly with a genuine love for their teammates and the Lady Wolfpack soccer program.”
While the boys were unable to advance to round two, head coach Steven Hanft lauded their accomplishment as they made the state playoffs for the first time in North Paulding history.
“I hope it is the beginning of a tradition that we will continue to build upon,” said Hanft.
Hanft said the score did not reflect how close the game really was as his boys “played their hearts out.”
According to Hanft, this season the boys were led by “a very strong group of seniors” — midfielders Erik Allen and Danny Pereira, defenders Chris Ferguson and Daniel Harris and goalie Zack Toomer.
Hanft said Toomer helped anchor a strong defense while Allen scored some key goals when the team really needed them. Both Ferguson and Harris also contributed goals at the other end of the field.
Due to injury Pereira only played the last few games, but Hanft said he gave the team a huge boost in the midfield, even scoring the game-winning goal against South Paulding on April 18.
“Overall, the regular season went very well. The defense was solid and we were able to win some important games… I am so proud of the boys, especially the senior,” said Hanft.