Photo: Craig Cappy.
Luis Alonso of North Gwinnett scores his second of a hat trick Saturday in the boys Region 7-AAAAA vs. 8-AAAAA soccer game.
DACULA -- It was a good night of soccer for a great cause, but it was also an appropriate get-well wish from a son to his father.
In the inaugural girls and boys senior soccer all-star games featuring Region 7-AAAAA and Region 8-AAAAA hosted at Dacula's Barron Field, Region 7-AAAAA won both contests as the girls posted a 2-0 shutout and the boys followed up with a 4-1 victory.
Both games were played to benefit the Georgia Special Olympics and donations from the evening totaled nearly $1,000.
But a priceless gesture from North Gwinnett's Luis Alonso to his father, who has been hospitalized recently, made the night complete as the senior completed a hat trick in the boys' Region 7-AAAAA win.
Alonso scored three straight goals in a span of 19 minutes in the first half to post Region 7-AAAAA to a lead it would never relinquish.
Alonso's first goal came at the 30:08 mark of the first half and he came back with goals at 26:05 and 12:42 to make it 4-0 Region 7-AAAAA, completing a special night for a special player.
"It was a lot of fun out here," Alonso said.
"All the players are so top quality and many of the players from these schools know each other since we've grown up playing together. A lot of us know each other by name, so it was fun to get out there with again one more time.
"And, yes, my dad will really enjoy reading about this (game)."
North teammate Roberto Hinojosa started the scoring for Region 7-AAAA with a goal just two minutes into the game.
Region 8-AAAAA did get on the scoreboard with 4:15 left in the first half as Berkmar's Renee Acosta found the back of the net to complete the scoring for the game.
In the girls game, it looked like the first contest of the doubleheader would go scoreless as both teams missed scoring opportunities.
But Peachtree Ridge's Baille Burmaster finally broke the ice with 12:52 to go in the game with a goal and Region 7-AAAAA was ahead to stay.
Mill Creek's Torie Scalera, who also assisted on Burmaster's goal, got the second goal for Region 7-AAAAA just 1:10 later to close out the scoring.
"We have a good crowd and the ladies were very competitive," said North Gwinnett girls coach Mark Karen. "They played well and they played hard."
Brookwood boys coach Danny Klinect agreed.
"We're happy with the way tonight turned out," Klinect said. "I heard the donation total was really good and we're happy these seniors could come out and enjoy this. We also hope this is an event we can continue to grow and move around the county so everyone can enjoy it. But we're thankful to Dacula and their staff for allowing us to come out here and put this on in the first year."
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