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Gate City soccer posts shutout sweep of Battle

May 20th, 2014 11:15 pm by Greg Peters

Gate City soccer posts shutout sweep of Battle

John Battle's Abigail Jones (4) pushes past Gate City's Kayce Raines (16) to get to the ball during Tuesday's match at Legion Field. (Ned Jilton II photo)

View the photo gallery from the girls' match

GATE CITY — Gate City boys soccer coach Eric Baker admits to spending part of the season frustrated.

There was no frustration Tuesday evening, however. His Blue Devils shut down John Battle 8-0 in a game that was called early due to the mercy rule.

That outcome followed another shutout, the Lady Blue Devils' 5-0 blanking of the Lady Trojans.

"All season long I have been getting frustrated with trying to get the guys to play into a formation and play into what I wanted them to do," said Baker, whose team moved to 13-0-1. "But the last month I have been catering to how they play and it has helped dramatically."

It worked almost perfectly against the Trojans and when the goals came, they came quick.

Tucker Alley opened the scoring in the 17th minute of the first half on a shot just outside the John Battle goal. A little less than two minutes later, Alley found himself in almost the same spot and picked up his second score.

"We wanted to get the intensity going and being Senior Night wanted to leave on a good note," Alley said. "In our last meeting they were up 2-1 late and we came back to win 4-2."

Caleb Herron and Wesley Byrd closed out the half with goals that came within a minute of each other for a 4-0 halftime lead.

Any concern about an attempted comeback was quelled quickly when the Blue Devils scored four goals in the first 10 minutes of the second half. Herron picked up the hat trick with two of the goals, and Alex Spivey and Neth Gardner recorded the other two.

Backed by a strong defense, goalie Tanner Alley notched the shutout. The Trojans had only one shot on goal in the second half.

"Our goalie is out with a concussion and that has hurt us quite a bit," said Battle coach Mike Posey. "In the first half we had some questionable calls and it snowballed from there. But Gate City is a good team and they pass and move the ball around well."

Madi Garrett opened the scoring for Gate City (13-2-0) in the girls' match. Lindsey Pierson and Megan Edwards followed with goals to give Gate City a 3-0 lead at the half.

Goals by Edwards and Sydney Miller accounted for the final margin.

"The girls came out strong today and we knew had to, as the last time we played we came out slow," said Gate City coach Chris Mann. "We wanted to put the scores up and get them down and I guess you would say flustered and we did."

Lady Trojans coach Colleen Johnson is convinced that her team has a mental problem when it comes to playing Gate City.

"We knew what to expect coming out here, we just didn't play to our best ability," Johnson said. "It always comes down to Gate City. They are the team we can never beat. They are the hurdle that we can't get over."

Both losses by the Lady Trojans (10-2-1) this season have been to the Lady Devils.

Both Gate City teams close out the regular season Friday with matches at Lebanon. Assured of No. 1 seeds in the conference, they await this weekend's determination of seedings for bracket play, which begins Monday.

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