LAGRANGE – They made the most of their opportunities.
The Troup Tigers only managed to get off a few shot attempts during last year’s Region 5-AAAA soccer match against the Carrollton Trojans, but two of them found the net, and they came away with a big 2-1 road win.
Now it’s time for the rematch.
Troup will be making its region debut today when it hosts Carrollton at the Troup County Soccer Complex.
First up will be the girls’ game at 5:30 p.m., and the boys’ game will follow at 7:30 p.m.
While the Tigers (4-2-1) have yet to play a region game, the Trojans (5-4 overall) are 2-0 in the region after thumping Fayette County 6-1 on Friday.
The Tigers are looking to bounce back from Friday’s 3-1 home loss to the Hardaway Hawks.
The Tigers played much better in the second half after falling behind 3-0 at the break, but they were unable to make up the deficit.
“They’ve found a way to make things happen this year, and it didn’t happen tonight,” Troup head coach Jase Crenshaw said of his team following Friday’s game.
The Tigers got within two late in the game when Juan Herrera scored on a penalty kick, and they nearly scored again off a Thomas Trotter header off of a corner kick, but the official ruled that the ball didn’t cross the line.
Hardaway took advantage when one of Troup’s top defensive players, junior Alan Vazquez, had to leave the game with an injury.
“There was a 20-minute stretch in the first half where Alan Vazquez, one of our center backs, got fouled pretty late and pretty hard, and he was out,” Crenshaw said. “In those 20 minutes, they countered us twice right in the middle.”
Crenshaw’s hope for tonight is that the Tigers will play the whole game like they did in the second half of Friday’s game when they dominated the action.
The key to success against quality teams, Crenshaw said, is putting a complete game together.
Against Hardaway, Crenshaw said “we didn’t come to play two halves, and that’s what you have to do to win.”
Troup will play a total of five region games, and it will need to finish fourth or higher to qualify for the state playoffs.
Troup has a non-region home game against Spencer on Thursday before returning to region competition on March 24 with a game at Sandy Creek.
Callaway’s boys’ and girls’ teams will be at home today for a critical Region 5-AAA doubleheader against Central-Carroll.
It has been smooth sailing for the Lady Cavaliers (6-0 overall), who are 3-0 in the region after beating Haralson County 7-0 last week.
Today’s game will likely offer the biggest challenge to date for the Lady Cavaliers, who have won their three region games by a combined score of 21-1.
The Cavaliers (4-2) will be looking to improve on their 1-1 region record with a win today.
Callaway’s teams will be back home on Thursday against region opponent Rockmart.
Also today, the LaGrange Academy girls’ soccer team will look for its first victory when it hosts Dominion at 5 p.m.
The Lady Warriors will visit Griffin Christian on Thursday before returning home to play Piedmont on Friday.
LaGrange High’s teams, after falling to Columbus on Monday, will host Region 1-AAAAA foe Harris County on Wednesday.
THIS WEEK’S GAMES
Central-Carroll at Callaway, 5:30 p.m.
Carrollton at Troup, 5:30 p.m.
Weber at LaGrange Academy, 5 p.m.
Harris County at LaGrange, 5:30 p.m.
Rockmart at Callaway, 5:30 p.m.
Spencer at Troup, 5:30 p.m.
LaGrange Academy at Griffin Christian, 5 p.m.
Piedmont at LaGrange Academy, 5 p.m.
Reach Kevin Eckleberry at (706) 884-7311 or on Twitter @lagrangesports