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March 1, 2014

Devils, Lady Devils hold Wildcats, Lady Cats scoreless

TIFTON — The Tift County Blue Devils soccer teams posted two shutouts Friday night at home against the Valdosta Wildcats, but were only able to come away with a single victory. The Lady Devils won 2-0 while the Devils' game ended in a scoreless tie. Both teams remain undefeated.

Though both squads have had plenty of offense, this was an evening they had to rely on defense.

The Lady Devils looked to be having a usual night. Taylor MacDonald scored just shy of five minutes into the game when she lofted a long kick over everyone into the net. Instead of being a scoring fest, though, the game turned into a battle.

Sarah Alberson just missed a chance to put them up by two when her shot went off the keeper's hands. In the second half, another one of her kicks was tipped by the Lady 'Cat goalkeeper, then caught. The team also had two corner kicks separated by only a few minutes that they were unable to convert.

Valdosta rarely had opportunities to advance it past Tift's midfield, though they did create some scary minutes when they took it deep into Lady Devil territory. They had a corner kick attempt with 16 minutes remaining that was headed towards the net, but went right.

Finally, Blakeley Bergeron was able to give them the cushion they needed when she was able to get just enough distance between herself and defenders to be able to poke the ball in the right side of the net.

Valdosta's boys had slightly more luck keeping the ball on the offensive end, but were stonewalled constantly and had few clear shots at goal. Tift had several chances to score when they had the ball, but the 'Cats made several big saves.

Luis Hernandez almost had one go in the net in the 23rd minute of the first half. Valdosta's goalkeeper was able to redirect the ball on a save enough to have it trickle just left. He had a much clearer shot 13 minutes into the second half that sailed high and right, then another save on one with kicks with 13 minutes to go.

Javier Olguin and Jonathan Alvarado had similar luck on their shot attempts, with the man in goal grabbing an Alvarado kick with just four minutes left.

Despite Valdosta being a Region 1-AAAAAA opponent, the game will not count in the region standings.

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