First-half flurry pushes Mill Creek to win

HOSCHTON -- Mill Creek lost a controversial game to Duluth on Tuesday on penalty kicks.

The Hawks' boys soccer team made sure nothing was put to chance Friday.

No. 4 ranked Mill Creek scored three goals in less than 10 minutes during the first half and Tony Baza added two goals in the second half as it beat Mountain View 6-1.

"We came off the loss in PKs and the guys were down," Mill Creek coach Sean Garnett said. "Tonight I think the guys had a little different attitude."

Friday's win continues Mill Creek's best start in school history. The Hawks began the year 6-0 and are now 8-2 on the season. The Region 7-AAAAA win over Mountain View tightens up the playoff race in the early part of the region schedule. Mill Creek will play No. 3 Peachtree Ridge on Tuesday. The Lions have defeated the Hawks the last two seasons.

"Our region is as tough as it comes," Garnett said. "You can't let down against anyone. They are very strong and they have a ton of weapons."

Mill Creek lost to Duluth on Tuesday when a Hawks player was whistled for an errant foul. That denied the Hawks of a potential game-winning goal and forced overtime where the Wildcats went on to win in penalty kicks.

"We had chances to win that game and we didn't," Garnett said.

The Hawks made sure not to keep it close against Mountain View on Friday.

Mill Creek opened the game with a half dozen missed shots.

"We had a couple of chances and couldn't put them away in the beginning," Garnett said.

Nick Muntean was finally able to connect, hitting a shot from the top of the 18 for the 1-0 lead. Tyler Moody had the assist on the goal at the 16th minute.

"That was a beautiful goal by Nick and an awesome pass by Moody," Garnett said. "It was just good work all around."

The Hawks added two more goals in a one-minute span. Tajay Hoppines scored from long range off an assist from Kenny Valencia. Moody followed in the 25th minute with a goal on an assist by Baza to make it 3-0.

"It was a bubble burst," Mountain View coach Stan Carpenter said. "We had the goal to keep it close going into the half."

Mill Creek's defense led by goalkeeper Steve Arroyave and defenders Zach Mruk, Stephen Kirk, Tyler Ward and Ryan Spitler limited Mountain View's offensive opportunities.

The Bears were finally able to break through with Jason Sayers' breakaway one-on-one and scored in the 57th minute to make it a 3-1 game.

"We did better in the second half," Carpenter said.

Mountain View's comeback was short-lived.

Baza gave Mill Creek a three-goal lead again in the 67th minute with a score off an assist from Brandon O'Toole. The senior added his second goal in the 72nd minute on an assist from Moody to extend the lead to 5-1.

"I just happened to get the ball and put it in," Baza said.

O'Toole scored the game's final goal in the 79th minute off an assist from Kyle Arold.

"We just decided to come back together a little more," Garnett said. "We attack well as a team."

Despite the loss, Mountain View has shown significant improvement in its third year of existence. The Bears were 2-14-1 last season and didn't win their final 14 games, including going winless in the region.

The Bears (7-3, 1-2) are a much stronger team this season, but have a tough road to climb to hang with the top teams in the region. It doesn't get any easier in their next game as they play last year's state runner-up Collins Hill on Tuesday.

"This team is not used to losing and it hurts a little," Carpenter said. "It stings and makes them hungry.

Mill Creek girls 8, Mountain View 0

Mountain View held Mill Creek to just a 1-0 lead in the first half behind the strong work of goalkeeper of Katie Darby.

But the floodgates opened in the second half as No. 10-ranked Mill Creek scored five goals in a 10-minute span to roll to an 8-0 victory.

The Hawks (6-3-1, 2-1 region) got a hat trick from Lauren Tanner, who also had an assist.

Megan Gil began the second half with a goal off a corner kick by Courtney Emmert in the 46th minute. Emmert made it a 3-0 game just a minute later with a goal off an assist from Tanner.

Tanner scored the next three goals, including one off an assist by Emmert, and Mill Creek led 6-0 in the 56th minute.

Emmert made it a 7-0 game with a penalty kick in the 60th minute and Alex Giles had a goal off an assist by Ellie Bowes in the 77th minute.

Courtney Dobeck began the scoring with a goal in the first half off an assist by Alex Ford.

Mountain View dropped to 6-5 overall and 1-2 in the region.