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Huge win for SEB soccer
SEB soccer
Southeast Bulloch's Christian Matthews (far left) races upfield in celebration after his header found the back of the net to draw the Yellow Jackets even with Groves during the second half of Monday's game in Brooklet. Southeast Bulloch added another goal in extra time as it inched closer to solidifying its spot in the state tournament. - photo by JOSH AUBREY/staff

    The Southeast Bulloch Yellow Jackets boys soccer team needed a win Monday night against Groves to secure a spot in the state playoffs. It looked, however, as though one breakdown with six seconds left in the first half would do them in, but the Jackets got a goal by Christian Mathews with just over four minutes to go, and a penalty kick in overtime by Danny Healy sealed the deal on a 2-1 victory.

“Christian Mathews and Danny Healy were saviors for us tonight,” siad Yellow Jacket coach Cole Wood. “We didn’t have Danny or Alan Luther in the first half for discipline issues, but you could really tell the difference in the team and the energy level when they came into the game in the second half.”

A defensive stalemate saw the Rebels control the ball on the offensive side for the majority of the first half. Southeast Bulloch only had one real scoring threat in the first half, but CJ Edwards attempt with 8:14 left was denied.
With time winding down in the first half the Rebels Jorge Lopez was able to find the back of the net from about 12 yards away with six seconds left, to give Groves a 1-0 lead.

“That was a tough one for us just before the half,” Wood said. “The guys that did play in the first half played so well. The goal they scored made me change my halftime speech as we had to focus on getting a goal back instead of getting one to go ahead,”

The Yellow Jacket offense finally started attacking with about 10 minutes left in the game. Their aggressiveness finally paid off with 4:16 to play. Alan Luther’s long throw in from the right side found Christian Mathews on the left side of the net, and he put his header just past a diving Rebel goalie to tie the game at 1-1.

“What a throw from Alan,” Wood said. “He threw it perfectly, and then Christian played it off the back of his head into the back post for the goal, incredible.”

Regulation ended in a tie, so the two teams went to overtime. In the first overtime Yellow Jacket midfielder Danny Healy was knocked down in the box. Healy was awarded a penalty kick, and put it in the right side of the net for a 2-1 Southeast Bulloch lead.

“I have one hundred percent trust in Danny to score on a penalty kick,” Wood said.

With 10 seconds left in the first overtime session, the Rebels were awarded a free kick after a Jacket foul. The kick bent around the Southeast Bulloch defenders, but was deflected away by Mitchell Waters in goal as he was fully extended to make the stop.

In the second extra time session, Mitchell came through again, diving to make a stop with 55 seconds left in the game to preserve the Jacket victory, and clinch a spot in the state playoffs.

“Those stops by Mitchell were huge, too,” Wood said. “So many people stepped up in this game. I am very proud of these kids.”

Southeast Bulloch improves to 6-8 overall and 5-3 in region play. The win gives the Yellow Jackets the No. 4 seed in this week’s region tournament. They will play Windsor Forest Thursday at Daffin Park with a time to be determined.


SEB Girls roll 5-0
The Southeast Bulloch Yellow Jacket girls had already sewed up the No. 3 seed in this week’s region tournament, but gained a little momentum as they knocked off Grover 5-0 Monday.

The Jackets started the scoring in the first half six minutes in as Emily Barnard scored on an assist from Gracie Thompson. The Jackets added another two minutes later as Barnard scored again, this time the assist was from Claire Flott and made it 2-0.

With 30 seconds left in the half it was time for Barnard to give and Thompson to receive, as the duo connected again to make it 4-0.

“We came out strong, and took control,” said Yellow Jacket coach Kristen Barnhill. “I was happy how we played together as a team, and our midfielders really stepped things up.”

In the second half the Jackets added a couple more goals. 12 minutes in Emily Wiggins found Barnard who finished the hat trick with her third goal and gave the Jackets a 4-0 lead. The final goal of the game was scored by Za’Riya Wadley off a pass form Jessica Buenrostro, for the final of 5-0.

I hope we can continue to play this way as we hop right into the region tournament,” Barnhill said. “It’s important for us to come out hot from the beginning once again.”

Southeast ends the season with a region record of 6-2. Up next the Jackets kick off the region tournament Tuesday as the third seed, and will be taking on second seeded Islands at 7 p.m. in Savannah.