Weston Hoover scored in the third minute of the contest to send the Blue Devils on their way to a 4-0 victory over the Generals at Legion Field.
The Devils moved on to play host Central today at 7:30 p.m. in the semifinals. More importantly, Gate City locked up a regional tournament berth.
“At the first of the year, we dug ourselves a hole and we’ve been digging out of it the whole time,” Gate City coach Aaron Hillman said. “These guys have been persistent. They’ve worked their tails off.
“We just keep churning and churning in order to climb the mountain.”
JOHNSON TAKES CHARGE
Gate City’s Matt Johnson was in the place at the right time twice in the first half, and his brace staked the Blue Devils to a 3-0 lead going into the locker room at intermission.
Both goals were on clear breakaways from the Generals’ defense, and Johnson was simply quicker than his defenders.
“Matt is Matt. He is a guy you can depend on and he takes care of business when he’s on the inside,” Hillman noted. “Other guys lean on him and he did a tremendous job today.”
David Edwards knocked through the game’s final goal.
REED STOUT IN GOAL
Luke Reed recorded the shutout in goal for Gate City, making five saves.
The Generals totaled 12 shots with six on goal. Reed got a little help from his teammates in the first half when he was caught out of position on a Lee free kick from about 30 yards out.
The Generals surprisingly did not record a corner kick.
WORKING THE CLOCK
Gate City was patient while holding the ball for the majority of the first half and waiting on the passing lanes to open up.
The Blue Devils completed a good portion of their passes in the first half, and one of them led to Hoover’s quick opening goal. A corner kick from Chandler LaForce to Hoover was a thing of beauty and ignited the Gate City attack from the get-go.
Lee had possession much of the second half. The Generals became the aggressor in an attempt to get back in the game, but they didn’t get many great looks because of Reed’s strong play.