Collins Hill boys open soccer playoffs with win over Grayson

SUWANEE --Drew Prentice's infant daughter, 10-day-old Addilyn, caught her first playoff soccer game Tuesday night. Fortunately the guys on Prentice's roster are much more seasoned.

Few boys soccer teams can match the fourth-ranked Eagles' postseason experience and it showed in their Class AAAAA first-round matchup, a 5-0 victory over visiting Grayson. Amiri Abraham scored two goals for Collins Hill, which has played in the last four AAAAA championship matches with state titles in 2009 and 2010.

"It's definitely nice to have that kind of experience," Prentice said. "I'd rather be on our side of it than being nervous and anxious about the playoffs."

The Eagles (14-4), who host Luella in the second round next Tuesday, didn't take advantage of their early chances but broke through in the 24th minute. Zach Jones hustled to win a 50-50 ball on the sideline and Abraham took advantage by floating a shot over the head of Grayson goalkeeper Callen Rhodes.

The match remained that way until Collins Hill took control, getting a goal just 40 seconds into the second half by Eli Carrasco. The midfielder whipped a pair of defenders on the left side before rifling a shot in for a goal.

Barely more than seven minutes later, Abraham again lifted a shot over the keeper's head for a 3-0 lead that only got worse from there.

"Amiri played very well," Prentice said. "It was nice to see that. We talked about needing guys to step up and he stepped up."

Grayson (10-8-1) picked up three yellow cards along with a straight red card in the 58th minute that helped Collins Hill tack on a pair of goals 11 vs. 10. Fabrice Momo scored on a blast in the 61st minute and Edan Mendoza added the fifth goal in the 65th minute.

Mendoza, Jones, Khallil Stewart and Freddie Maier anchored a defense that prevented Grayson from any real scoring chances and made sure Jackson Taylor and Nick Nelson shared the shutout at goalkeeper without much trouble.

"Our entire back line except one are midfield players (in club)," Prentice said. "We've had to build defenders and they've done a nice job back there."