Photo: David McGregor Buford's Ann Schmidt fires a shot past Jackson's Sydney Baird during the Wolve's xxxx victory over the Panters on Saturdat afternoon in Buford.
BUFORD -- For the first time since 2008, Buford has advanced to the Final Four of the girls' state soccer playoffs. The Wolves hammered Jackson County 9-1 Saturday.
Buford dominated throughout, scoring three goals in the first nine minutes en route to the win.
"Getting off to a fast start is critical to us," head coach Drew Eager said. "We've focused on getting after it from the start."
The No. 2 Wolves (16-5) got unassisted goals from Lindsey White, Caitlyn Dawkins and Ceely Coker in the first nine minutes, letting the team settle into the game.
"After the three early goals, it allowed us to start passing the ball around, finding the weak spots in their defense," Eager said.
Dawkins had opportunities in the 11th and 20th minutes to add a pair of goals, but diving saves by Jackson County goalkeeper Vic Fontana kept the ball out of the back of the net.
However, in the 22nd minute, the Wolves got another goal when Ann Schmidt kicked the ball from 25 yards out, hitting it off the fingertips of Fontana and into the goal.
Six minutes later, Coker crossed the ball into the center, finding White as she headed it into the goal to put the Wolves up 5-0, a lead they held onto at halftime.
Then, in the second half, it didn't take Buford long to score again as Coker took a cross from McKenna Harwood and headed it into the goal less than a minute in.
Olivia Hoey had a one-timer on a pass from Harwood, putting the Wolves up 7-0 in the 44th minute.
In the 60th minute, Jackie Joyce found the back of the net as the ball bounced around in front of the goalkeeper a few times before Joyce put a foot on it and put it in the back of the goal.
Jackson County finally got on the board in the 70th minute when Katie Phillips got on a breakaway and put it in the back of the net, giving the Jackson County fans something to cheer about.
But, five minutes later, Buford took that excitement away as White shot through a hole in the Jackson County defense, making the score 9-1.
"We play in the best region in the state," Eager said. "At this point, anything can happen."