Under head coach Art Cartee, the Raiders have responded by playing its best stretch of soccer this season, winning their last three games by a combined score of 22-3, including an impressive 9-2 triumph over Hiram on March 25.
“We’ve come together as a team and worked hard in practices,” junior forward Kalea Romano said. “Everyone has stayed focused while being more positive and encouraging each other.”
Romano led the charge for East Paulding’s offense, scoring more than 25 goals this season along with 10 assists. The Raiders’ offense has been one of the strongest in the region overall, averaging five goals scored per contest.
Defensively, the Raiders have been solid as well. Outside of allowing seven goals in the season-opening loss to Villa Rica on Feb. 25, East Paulding has not allowed a team to score more than three goals in a contest since that contest and posted four shutouts.
“We have an experienced team this season and it would mean a lot to make the playoffs,” senior forward Adele Coviello said.
She said a postseason appearance would “boost our soccer program and get more people wanting to play the sport at the school.”
The upperclassmen know the importance of their next few contests.
“We want to remain positive even in situations were we might be losing and score more goals,” Coviello stated.
Romano said “we’re in a good position to make the playoffs as long as we win our next couple of games.”
Despite posting 13 wins in the 2012 campaign and 11 victories last season, the Raiders failed to make the state playoffs in each of those years. To avoid a similar fate this year, they will have to earn wins against North Paulding Thursday and at Paulding County on April 15 to secure a postseason bid.