0

Collins Hill boys crush Newnan to earn semifinal berth

SUWANEE -- Defending state champion Collins Hill put together a dominating performance in the quarterfinals of the Class AAAAAA boys' soccer state tournament with a 6-1 win over Newnan at Fahring Field.

Playing seven hours earlier at noon due to Newnan's prom Saturday night, Collins Hill was comfortable with the early kickoff and showed no letdown as the Eagles rolled to the lopsided victory.

Seeking its second consecutive state crown and sixth straight appearance in the championship game, Collins Hill moved on to the semifinals Wednesday to take on the Centennial-Harrison winner.

Newnan (11-10-0), which had defeated Luella and Lowndes by identical 3-2 scores in the first two rounds, was no match for Collins Hill.

The Eagles possessed the ball with precision and maintained constant offensive pressure in the Cougars' end.

"We got up early this morning and got together as a team to think about what we wanted to do today," Collins Hill head coach Michael Burrell said. "We talked about taking care of our business and do what we needed to do to get to the semifinals. To their credit, Newnan came out to play us and didn't back down. That kind of opened up some things for us."

Collins Hill (16-5-0) struck quickly with a goal at the 35:54 mark as Martin Sedarri took a pass from Jordan Brust and scored.

Eli Carrasco got it started on the left side with a pass to the middle, where Brust touched it over to Sedarri for the finish.

Paul Ille made it 2-0 with 27:26 to go in the first half on a beautiful bender from the left side.

Ille gathered in a loose ball and fired his shot into the upper right corner.

Collins Hill came right back to score again with 19:34 left when Juan Romero scored on an assist from Carrasco.

Carrasco centered from the far left side and Romero converted for the 3-0 lead.

Newnan got its only shot on goal of the first half at the 9:30 mark, but Collins Hill goal keeper Jackson Taylor made the save to keep the Cougars off the scoreboard.

Collins Hill got its final goal of the opening half as Zach Lane scored from up top with only 1:06 remaining in the half.

The Eagles had 11 shots, including eight on goal, and four found the back of the net in the first half.

Carrasco got his first goal of the game on an assist from Ille at 32:50 of the second half to push the Collins Hill lead to 5-0.

Then Juan Ruiz completed the Collins Hill scoring at 24:06 by picking up a rebound after a shot on goal and putting it home.

Collins Hill finished with 21 shots, 14 of those on goal, and won its fifth game in a row.

"We're playing very well right now and a lot of guys are stepping up," Burrell said. "There were some questions at the beginning of the year about how far we would make it. It fuels our team to know the goal is a state championship because of the history here. Our guys are used to being there and they don't want to set the bar any lower."

Newnan, which managed just five shots for the game and three on goal, did get on the scoreboard with 10:20 to go when Connor Cox scored from the left side for the 6-1 final score.