Parkview scores early, holds off North rally

North Gwinnett's Brian Norton (7) battles for control of the ball against Parkview's Raymond Muro (14) during Tuesday's game.

North Gwinnett's Brian Norton (7) battles for control of the ball against Parkview's Raymond Muro (14) during Tuesday's game.


Photo: Craig Cappy Parkview's Abel Nguyen (11) celebrates with his teammates after his goal against North Gwinnett on Tuesday night.


Photo: Craig Cappy Parkview's Jose Diaz (2) shoots and scores over North Gwinnetts goalie Maximillian Smith (0) while North's Jeff Harvey also tries to stop the goal during Tuesday's game.

LILBURN -- A week ago Parkview's boys soccer team lost to Brookwood for the Region 8-AAAAA championship.

The loss snapped the Panthers' 11-game winning streak and reminded them they weren't invincible.

"The guys really wanted a region. For us as coaches, we had to remind them there's no difference other than bragging rights," Parkview coach Michael Tomlich said. "Region titles are great, but it's how far you get in the playoffs that is better."

Parkview took the advice to heart in Tuesday's first round Class AAAAA playoff game.

The Panthers scored two goals in the first nine minutes and then held off North's second-half rally for a 3-2 victory.

"Every time we play North it's a battle," Tomlich said.

Parkview lost to eventual state champion Walton in last year's semifinals. The Panthers haven't won a state title since 2005 and could get another shot at Walton, who is in the same part of the bracket.

Parkview, the No. 2 seed from Region 8-AAAAA, will first have to get past the Tift County-Stephenson winner on Tuesday in the second round. Parkview beat Tift in last year's quarterfinals 1-0.

"Either way I feel good about it," Tomlich said. "We know we've got some preparation to do. It's not easier the rest of the way."

The win is the second for Parkview (14-3-2) over North (9-8-2) this season. The two teams met in mid-February and the Panthers walked away with a 1-0 win on 5-4 penalty kicks. It was part of a 1-2-2 start for Parkview.

"I think we're both completely different teams," Tomlich said. "We've grown and matured. It's hard to compare this game to that game."

Parkview opened Tuesday's game with a goal by Jose Diaz in the fourth minute. The speedy senior made a few quick moves at the top of the box and delivered a hard shot for the goal. Diaz will miss Parkview's second-round game after getting a red card in the second half.

Abel Nguyen made it 2-0 in the ninth minute on an assist from Jonathan Jarrett.

Raymond Muro scored in the 28th minute for a 3-0 lead for the Panthers.

"We came out sleepy," North Gwinnett coach Michael Wentzler said. "I told them we don't have another film day if we lose, we have to bounce back. They put it all out there."

North had its chances with a free kick by James Lee that sailed over the goal in eight minute. Thomas Perry's header sailed over the goal in the 31st minute and Kian Pourak had a direct shot at the goalie a minute later.

Pourak had a free kick 20 yards out and Parkview goalkeeper Diego Casillas made a diving stop to his left.

The Bulldogs were finally able to breakthrough with a goal by Alejandro Arroyave in the 58th minute.

Michael D'Angola added the second goal after a flurry of missed shots to make it a 3-2 game in the 73rd minute.

"In my opinion, we had them on their heels a lot of the way," Wentzler said. "It's tough to come back from a 3-0 deficit."

Pourak had another free kick in the 78th minute, but it sailed right of the goal.

"It was a tough one," Tomlich said. "We had a great first half. In the second half, we didn't step out enough and they pushed it. They made it hard for us to counter. It was a good battle between two Gwinnett County schools."