WOODSTOCK -- Wednesday's Class AAAAA girls soccer playoff game between the Etowah Eagles and Dacula Falcons was a tutorial in defensive execution that ended with a shutout victory. Etowah used three goals in the second half to move past Dacula 4-0.
Freshman forward Caroline Waters scored the game's first goal at the 17th minute mark to give Etowah a 1-0 lead and Ashley Yager scored just a few minutes into the second half, putting the Eagles up 2-0.
"Waters has been a great player for us," Etowah head coach John Murnan said. "She's been injured some this season, so we've had to limit her playing time, and yet she has still delivered on many quality goals for our team."
Dacula just managed to get only a few good looks at goal in the whole game. Etowah forced the action both on offense and defense. The Eagles didn't sit and wait for the ball to come to them, but attacked the ball and were the aggressors all night.
"When we lost in the playoffs last year we played like a team that was overwhelmed," Murnan said. "Our goal was to be first to the ball, control the game, execute, and we did it perfectly."
Etowah, which scored 10 goals in its last game against South Cobb, had its chances at goals in the first half.
In just the first few minutes of the opening half, the Eagles were already threatening. But good defense by the Falcons forced the Eagles into taking a wild shot that sailed out of bounds.
Etowah kept the pressure on Dacula's defense. Once the Eagles got their first attempt at a goal they did an excellent job of keeping the ball in the scoring zone, and putting lots of pressure on Dacula's goalie, Courtney Roulain. She made three saves, including one where she dove to her right denying a great shot.
"We did have some struggle in the beginning with our offense," Murnan said. "But our aggressive play made up for that by giving us more scoring opportunities."
While Roulain did all she could, the Eagles continued to force the action and Waters took advantage, scoring the game's first goal. For Waters it was her first of two goals.
She would score the team's fourth and final goal at the 72nd minute mark, and a few minutes before Waters' second goal of the night, Juli Randstadler scored to give Etowah a 3-0 lead.
Etowah will play Northview next week in the second round.
"We have a week off, so we will brush up those mistakes we made," Murnan said. "It will give us a chance to rest up also." a week off, so we will brush up those mistakes we made," Murnan said. "It will give us a chance to rest up also."