Collins Hill boys crush Lowndes

Photo: Craig Cappy<br> Lowndes goalie Chris Sehenke defends against Collins Hill's Emmanuel Raji (11), who attempts to score off a corner kick on Saturday.

Photo: Craig Cappy
Lowndes goalie Chris Sehenke defends against Collins Hill's Emmanuel Raji (11), who attempts to score off a corner kick on Saturday.

SUWANEE -- The Collins Hill boys soccer team continues to show why it is ranked second in the state, adding Lowndes to its list of victims with a 4-0 win in the Class AAAAA quarterfinals Saturday night.

The Eagles controlled the ball throughout the game, possessing for more than three-quarters of the game. When the Vikings did make runs, the Eagles' defense stepped up and prevented goals.

"We have a lot of good individual players that don't play like individuals," said Collins Hill head coach Drew Prentice. "They move the ball well and work together."

Collins Hill had numerous opportunities throughout the first half, but were unable to convert. Amir Abraham missed in the fifth minute on a diving save by the Lowndes goalie. Zak Wallingford and Emmanuel Raji also missed wide from inside the box. Goalie Jackson Taylor made a diving save on a Lowndes' run in the 24th minute.

Six minutes later, Collins Hill (19-1) again found itself inside the Lowndes box for a shot opportunity. Mark Riggins was then taken down in the box with the referee giving the Eagles a penalty kick. And Raji didn't disappoint as his shot bounced off the keeper and rolled into the goal to give Collins Hill a 1-0 lead, which they would take into halftime.

"We had some unfortunate misses close," Prentice said. "We weren't finishing."

In the second half, the Eagles continued to dominate with the ball. Just as the ball was going out of bounds in the 48th minute, Jordan Brust headed the ball back in to Raji, who found the back of the net to give the Eagles a 2-0 lead.

From there, it got worse for Lowndes (16-4) as Wallingford took a cross from Andrew Olortegui and put it into the goal for a 3-0 lead. The Eagles then added their fourth goal off another penalty kick in which Nina Vojdani went left to fool the keeper.

With subs in after that, Collins Hill still kept up the intensity and was able to preserve the shutout, even with the Vikings getting a penalty kick on a hand ball inside the box. Backup goalie Zaki Colabawala sent back Georgia State signee Jordan Weise's shot, preserving the shutout and giving the subs something to be proud about.

"We jokingly said the other day that our subs have played more in the playoffs than they did the entire season," Prentice said. "It says a lot about our guys that can come in with the game in hand and not lose any intensity. They played at the same level that are starters did."

Now, the Eagles are in the semifinals and will play at No. 1 Lassiter on Wednesday.