Heritage School boys soccer coach Nathan Watts wants his team to enjoy Friday night’s 5-0 victory over visiting Trinity-Dublin and with good reason.
The victory in the GISA Elite 8 sends the Hawks back to Mercer University in Macon next week and to the Final Four for the second year in a row.
However, after a small celebration, the Hawks’ coach hopes they shift their focus back to winning two more games and bringing back a state title to Heritage.
“This was a statement game,” Watts said. This is about building a tradition. Soccer is the oldest sport at our school. There are three dads of our players who played on the team at Heritage back in their day.”
Heritage has flexed its offense the past two weeks, outscoring opponents 9-0, including a 4-0 victory over Gatewood in the first round game last week.
Heritage is set to play the winner of a quarterfinal match between defending state champion Westminster-Augusta and Bulloch in next week’s semifinals on Friday at 4:30 at Mercer University’s Five Star Stadium.
Saturday’s state title game could pit Heritage and Frederica together in a rematch of last year’s semifinal game.
Frederica defeated Heritage on penalty kicks to end the Hawks’ season and it’s a loss that has stuck with them for almost a year.
In Friday night’s quarterfinal game, Heritage set the tone early, using it quickness and athleticism against Trinity-Dublin to take a 3-0 lead at the half.
The Hawks kept the ball in the Trinity-Dublin end of the field for most of the contest.
Hays Burns had two early scoring chances, including off a header a from Nick Blair.
The shot bounced off the crossbar spoiling the Hawks’ best scoring chance less than 10 minutes into the contest.
However, Heritage kept up the pressure.
Burns nearly found the back of the net a few minutes later with two more shots on net.
Andrew Vazquez also had a solid shot on goal .
Patience finally paid off for the Hawks about 16 minutes into the contest on back-to-back corner kicks.