Staff Photo: Jonathan Phillips Collins Hill's Mariah Dickey (13) battles for control of the ball with Woodstock's Amara Altman (20) during the first round of the Class AAAAA playoffs on Tuesday. Dickey scored her first goal of the night 12 seconds into the game.
SUWANEE -- Even for a goal scorer like Mariah Dickey, this kind of opportunity doesn't usually come.
The Collins Hill junior forward took the opening kickoff and raced down the right sideline to score 12 seconds into the Eagles' first round playoff game against Woodstock. It was the fastest goal she can remember scoring, and it helped the Eagles to a 4-2 victory on Tuesday. They advance to play host to Roswell on Tuesday.
"I saw an opportunity, and I was like, 'Well, might as well go for it,'" Dickey said. "I got to the ball fast enough, luckily, because usually those plays don't work."
It happened so fast, coach Jeff Tinklepaugh didn't even see it. Tinklepaugh said he had his back turned trying to organize the ball girls on the sideline.
"The fastest goal we've ever scored, and I missed it," he said with a laugh.
The win gives Collins Hill (12-6), the Region 7-AAAAA champion, its first appearance in the second round since 2006, also the last time they won the region. Woodstock, which finished fourth in Region 5, ended its season 6-10-1.
"It feels great to know we can come out as a team and put all of our skill together and keep going," Dickey said.
Buoyed by the early goal, Collins Hill took advantage with the added confidence, as Tinklepaugh said his team plays more aggressively with the lead.
"That pumped us up," Tinklepaugh said. "We needed to get the first goal, and we had to play the game like we were down 1-0, so that was huge. Put them on their heels right off the bat. The longer we let them hang in there, the more vulnerable we are."
The Eagles outshot the Wolverines 7-3 in the first half, and led 2-0 after freshman Paige Hoover used a header from a corner by junior Margaret Bruemmer with 6:52 to go in the half.
Woodstock answered less than two minutes later when Caitlin Tongco scored from point blank range after she used her speed to turn the corner on a defender. After Dickey added a second goal seven minutes into the second half, the teams exchanged goals from about 25 yards. Sophomore Taylor Donohue scored for the Eagles, while Sam Thomas tallied for Woodstock.
Dickey's two goals were not a surprise, because she's scored several game-winners this season, including a key play in the region-clinching win against Mill Creek.
"She expects it of herself," Tinklepaugh said. "We've never put that responsibility on her. She's the kind of young lady that puts it on herself. She feels like it's her role to do that."
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