clear
Sunday May 3rd, 2015 12:54PM

Soccer: North Hall boys maraud their way past Islands, into state semifinals

By Morgan Lee Sports Editor
BOYS STATE QUARTERFINAL SOCCER RESULTS/SCHEDULE
CLASS AAAAA
McIntosh 6, Gainesville 1

CLASS AAAA
Johnson 2, Cairo 1

CLASS AAA
West Hall 6, Peach County 0
North Hall 5, Islands 3

BOYS STATE SEMIFINAL SCHEDULE
Tuesday
CLASS AAAA
Southeast Whitfield at Johnson

Class AAA
West Hall at Oconee County
North Hall at St. Pius
Related Articles
SAVANNAH -- The North Hall boys soccer team is putting together the kind of season that equals and breaks records -- and the Trojans did both on Saturday.

North Hall traveled to Savannah and played its way into the Class AAA semifinals courtesy a 5-3 defeat of Islands High, the outcome pushing the Trojans into the final four for the first time in almost 20 years.

"They believe; they know they can beat anybody in the state on any given night," North Hall coach Jonathan Lillie said. "They're very excited, and they're ready for Tuesday."

The win moved the Trojans into Tuesday's semifinal showdown at St. Pius -- a team that just escaped Region 7-AAA foe Dawson County in the second round via a marathon penalty shootout.

"There's no doubt our region (7-AAA) is the best in the state, and the results bear that out," said Lillie, whose team joins fellow 7-AAA team West Hall in the semifinals (the Spartans are on the other side of the bracket and will face Oconee County in Tuesday's other Class AAA semifinal). "We may be a four seed, but the guys know that they're not a real four seed because of how hard our region is."

Saturday's victory -- North Hall's third on the road this postseason -- also saw striker Junior Avalos bag a hat trick that helped him add to his tally as the program's all-time leading goal-scorer.

Avalos, a junior, scored two goals in the first half to help the Trojans (14-4-1) to a 3-1 lead and then broke a 3-3 deadlock in the second half with his final strike to tally his 45th career goal. Avalos has surpassed former North Hall standout Brian Hall's career tally (who played in the early 1990s).

"The great thing is that we've got 13 guys on this team with at least one goal and one assist; Junior is a great player, but we've got three-four guys with 10-plus goals," Lillie said. "We're a complete team. The guys work hard for each other, and they're unselfish. It all comes down to character for us."

Enrique Casterjon and Jake Stephens also scored in the game, Casterjon's goal making it 3-1 in the first half and Stephens' penalty kick strike making it 5-3 in the second half, sealing the contest with five minutes remaining.

Avalos got things going, scoring twice in the first half to help North Hall to a 3-1 lead -- but Islands (13-6-2) made the most of a consistent wind at its collective back, scoring two goals on long-ball headers to knot the game at 3-3.

North Hall responded with Avalos' third and final goal, as the junior met Abraham Salvador's corner kick to put the visitors ahead for good at 4-3.

Jake Carter helped make sure of the victory, drawing the penalty kick from Islands with five minutes remaining -- an opportunity that Stephens buried.

Carter finished the game with two assists, as did Jairo Barrientos. Avalos also had one assist.
© Copyright 2015 AccessNorthGa.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
2014 Top 10: Looking back at the top sports stories of the year
It was another year for the record books in 2014, mostly for the right reasons -- state championships, new challenges and new stars taking their turn to shine. But there were also plenty of big stories that reminded us that sports -- like life -- isn
11:55PM ( 4 months ago )
NASCAR K&N Pro Series schedules set for 2015
DAYTONA BEACH, FL - NASCAR announced recently the 2015 schedules for its top developmental regional touring series, the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East and NASCAR K&N Pro Series West.
2:00PM ( 4 months ago )
Lanierland boys final: Johnson makes history with win over Red Elephants <b> (VIDEO) </b>
Ever the aggressor on the court, Johnson
8:55AM ( 4 months ago )
Sports
Lanierland boys semifinals: Unbeatens Johnson, Red Elephants roll into finals
Both Gainesville and Johnson powered their way into the Lanierland Tournament finals on Monday. The two undefeated teams will meet Tuesday for the title at 8:30 p.m. at Chestatee.
10:01AM ( 4 months ago )
Lanierland girls semifinals: GHS, Lady Falcons advance to finals <b> (VIDEO) </b>
Flowery Branch and Gainesville each took impressive wins Monday to advance to the Lanierland Tournament finals...
10:00AM ( 4 months ago )
Girls basketball: Lady Tigers advance to Pickens Holiday finals
The Dawson County girls basketball advanced to the finals of the Pickens Holiday Classic after an 81-54 win over Riverwood Monday.
11:48PM ( 4 months ago )
High School Sports
Coach Quinn believes 1st NFL draft with Falcons a success
General manager Thomas Dimitroff and new coach Dan Quinn say the Atlanta Falcons got exactly what they were looking for on the last day of the NFL draft.
3:40PM ( 2 hours from now )
Golf: Red Elephants surge back to claim Invite crown over Marist
The Gainesville boys golf team staged a second-round comeback on Saturday to claim The Invite crown at Chattahoochee Golf Club in Gainesville.
11:53AM ( 1 hour ago )
David Ragan ready to move to Michael Waltrip Racing
David Ragan’s tenure in the No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota comes to an end with the GEICO 500 and he’ll be moving onto his third team in 11 races—“a little weird, for sure,” he acknowledged—when the Sprint Cup schedule resumes at Kansas Speedway on May 9.
By Mark McCarter-NASCAR Wire Service
8:00AM ( 4 hours ago )
Reds notch 8-4 win over Braves
Jay Bruce powered two long triples, Marlon Byrd broke out of his slump and Zack Cozart had three hits to lead the Reds to an 8-4 victory over the Atlanta Braves on Saturday night.
10:42PM ( 14 hours ago )
American Pharoah gives trainer a long-awaited 4th Derby win
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Three times in seven years, Bob Baffert left the Kentucky Derby empty-handed. Two seconds and a sixth-place finish by the wagering favorite.After a while, those close calls star...
9:28PM ( 15 hours ago )