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Bulloch Academy swept by Hilton Head

    It was a heartbreaking loss for the Gators in a matchup with Hilton Head Christian Academy Monday night at Gator Alley.
    Bulloch Academy had chances to score throughout the game, but couldn’t seem to put the ball in the net in a 1-0 loss to the Eagles.
    In a 0-0 tie, HHCA scored with just five minutes left to play in the game—handing the Gators their third loss of the season.
    “Again, this is something I’ve been preaching to these boys. In the last two games we’ve played two phenomenal first halfs and the second half has alluded us. This game we put together a full 79 minutes,” BA boys soccer coach Matthew Meeks said after Monday’s loss. “We gave up that mental breakdown, but that’s a good team over there.”
    In the second game of the season, BA gave up five goals to the Eagles.
    Meeks said he was pleased with the team’s progress up to this point.
    “I couldn’t ask for much more of the guys. The effort was phenomenal and unfortunately it didn’t work for us tonight,” Meeks said.
Early on it appeared as though the Gators would be destined to score. BA had three shots on goal in just the first 10 minutes of the game.
    However, Eagles’ freshman goalkeeper Lukas O’grady remained poised against BA’s pressure.
    Carson Webster punched in the Eagles lone goal late in the second half.
    “Bulloch is always tough. It’s a long trip but their coach is fantastic and their facilities are fantastic. They are a good group of hardworking boys,” said HHCA soccer coach Dylan Curtis. “We know if we can come out of here with a win we’ll be in good shape.”
    Bulloch Academy (2-3) seems to have found their mojo with a formation shift. The Gators are running a 3-4-4 with speedsters Rey Zeng, Seth Brant, Jack Fortune and Grant Williams rotating in at top.
    At the 14:17 mark in the second half, Zeng broke away for an open look but appeared to be tackled in the box. There was no foul called.  A few moments later, Brant’s shot on goal blocked was blocked by O’Grady.
    The Gators had one of their best looks with 5:50 to play in the game. On a cross in front of the goal, Williams’ shot went over the goal post to preserve the Eagles’ shutout.
    “We wanted to go with a little more attacking style and use our speed. There’s not too many people that can keep up with (Zeng, Brant or Fortune). Those guys have some serious speed and you just can’t coach that,” Meeks said.
    The Gators will try to bounce back today as they travel to take on First Presbyterian. Game time is yet to be determined.

HHCA 8, Bulloch 0
It was a rough loss for Bulloch Academy against Hilton Head Christian Academy Monday night at Gator Alley.
    The Eagles scored six goals in the first half on the way to an 8-0 win over the Lady Gators.
    Despite the loss, BA head coach Matthew Meeks still wants to focus on the positives of Monday’s game.
    “We think positives. We didn’t give up as many goals in the second half and we had a better outcome than the first time we played [Hilton Head Christian Academy],” Meeks said after the game. “We’re still a young team and we’re still trying to find that nucleus.”
    The the first meeting of the regular season, Hilton Head bested the Lady Gators 10-1.
    Bulloch Academy (2-3) is still a young team, featuring just one senior on the active roster and 11 freshman. Due to his team’s youth, Meeks said there will be a few growing pains this year.
    “You take a game like this and start mixing and matching and you try to find where you’re going to get that spark. I think we found that spark tonight,” Meeks said.
    The Lady Gators’ “spark” Monday night came in the form of freshman Mary Claire Duggan. Meeks said Duggan stepped up in the wing position and could give the team some valuable minutes moving forward.
    “She has a motor. The girl will not quit. She’s tenacious and she’s going to get after it. She has a very high work energy and hopefully move forward on the attack for us,” Meeks said of Duggan. “We spent a lot of the game in the defensive-third, so we need a spark in the midfield that’s going to help get the ball changed from one side of the field to another.”
    In the first half, it was all Hilton Head Christian Academy.
    Jocelyn Frazier scored the first goal within the first 10 minutes of the game. Just three minutes later the Eagles would strike again.
    Lindsey Gillis and Allison Meeder combined for four goals, scoring two goals each. Emily Bailey, Katie Hetzel and Molly Lucci also scored a goal for the Eagles.
    The Lady Gators have worked on a new formation throughout the season. Meeks said his team feels more comfortable with the new look.
    “We’re seeing how the back line has to slide and they have to stay together. We gave up some big gaps in the first half,” Meeks said.