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Buford girls coast to 5-0 win over Oconee

BUFORD -- Buford continued its impressive run thus far in the Class AAA girls state soccer playoffs as the Wolves rode the momentum of a five-goal first half en route to a 5-0 win over Oconee County in the second round.

Ranked No. 2 in the state, Buford (18-0-0) moves on to the quarterfinals to meet the Savannah Arts vs. Jackson winner.

Buford wasted no time getting on the scoreboard as Ceely Coker took a long pass from Brooke Horist and found the back of the net just 95 seconds into the game to give the Wolves a 1-0 lead.

"We like to play fast and get ahead early," Buford head coach Crystal Fowler said.

There was no letting up as Buford put another goal on the board at the 20:29 mark of the opening half when Ann Schmidt scored on a header following a corner kick from Tara Dambach to make it 2-0.

Just over four minutes later, Buford made it 3-0 when Brie Smith took a centering pass from Coker and knocked home another goal for the Wolves.

Buford completed its five-goal scoring burst as Elexa Bahr scored on an assist from Coker at 8:04 and Smith got her second goal of the half on a rebound with 1:10 remaining in the half.

Coker finished with a goal and two assists while Smith had a pair of goals to lead the way for the Wolves.

"Our defense sets up our offense," said Fowler. "I've got my four defenders back there that are awesome and so solid. Most of the time the ball is coming out of the back and we're getting it to the outside to our forwards. Sometimes it's to the middle and back out, but either way it's coming from the way our defense plays."

Oconee County (11-8-1) came into the contest ranked No. 8 and on a five-game winning streak, including two straight shutout wins.

But the Warriors were no match for Buford's offensive firepower.

In fact, Oconee County spent very little time in an offensive mode and managed just two shots on goal -- both turned away by Wolves' goal keeper Lane Crawford.

Buford recorded its third consecutive shutout and has only allowed seven goals all season, including just one goal in its last 11 games (at Dawson County on March 22).

Buford finished with 25 shots, including 14 on Oconee County goal keeper Rebecca Webb, and also generated eight corner kicks during the game.