clear
Thursday September 20th, 2018 12:01AM

Playoff soccer: Chestatee advances to first-ever 4A final

By AccessWDUN
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

THOMASTON — History is just another word for the Chestatee boys soccer team -- and instead of being focused on all the firsts and magic the War Eagles have created this postseason, they are more intently focused on another word: championship.

Thanks to a 2-0 defeat of Upson-Lee in Tuesday's Class 4A state semifinal, Chestatee will now play for its first ever state crown.

The War Eagles (19-2) largely shut down the Knights (19-2) in their first ever state semifinal -- just days after winning their first ever state quarterfinal -- and got goals from Austin Manzo and Juan Carlos Vanegas to handle the offensive load. 

Chestatee will take on Northwest Whitfield for the Class 4A championship at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at Mercer's Five Star Stadium in Macon. And after blazing a new trail to this point, the second-ranked War Eagles believe they can take one more step.

"We're just going to keep doing what we're doing and focus on the next game," Chestatee coach Mike Herrin said. "We just keep talking about one more game, one more game, one more game."

The War Eagles will look to continue the same focus they've displayed each of the last two playoff contests when they trek to Macon.

"They were focused tonight," Herrin said. "We talked about staying that way on the way down, and they were relaxed and loose."

Defensively, Chestatee remained locked in as goalkeeper Steven Martinez maintained the shutout -- including a clutch one-on-one save with the visitors leading just 1-0.

"They had one breakaway where our defenders got crossed up with each other, and Steven came up huge to deny their guy," Herrin said. "Our defenders did a great job the rest of the night and really covered well for each other."

Manzo ensured the War Eagles took the lead, pouncing on a rebound to score in the first half. Vanegas then provided some insurance on an inch-perfect 40-yard free kick with 23 minutes remaining.

"I’m excited for the boys," Herrin said. "This is their moment.

"Hopefully we'll have the same atmosphere down in Macon. We had a great turnout of students tonight, our hundred or so kids were just as loud as the other team's 500."

© Copyright 2018 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Wormy Gaddis takes Winder-Barrow Modified Street Win
Wormy Gaddis jumped out to the early lead in Saturday night’s Modified Street feature at Georgia’s Winder-Barrow Speedway, and went on to pace every lap en route to the victory.
6:00AM ( 1 hour ago )
Playoff soccer: Chestatee advances to first-ever 4A final
The Chestatee boys soccer team continued its historic playoff run Tuesday with a 2-0 victory over Upson-Lee in the semifinals of the Class 4A playoffs...
11:59PM ( 7 hours ago )
(VIDEO) Playoff soccer: Johnson boys surge back into Class 5A championship game
The Johnson boys soccer team has spent almost two full seasons chasing the one that got away.
11:51PM ( 7 hours ago )
Sports
Branch baseball standouts sign to play at next level
Three Flowery Branch High baseball standouts recently signed National Letters of Intent to play at the next level.
2:30PM ( 16 hours ago )
Playoff soccer: Chestatee taking historic run in stride as it heads to semifinals
Michael Herrin never really experienced a "Eureka!" moment during the regular season -- a match, half or goal that screamed history.
7:53AM ( 23 hours ago )
Playoff tennis: Falcons keep history alive, clinch state championship shot
Flowery Branch boys tennis coach Stacey Smallwood lived a lifetime on Monday afternoon, agonizing through a state semifinal match that looked as if it might never end...
11:57PM ( 1 day ago )
High School Sports
(VIDEO) Playoff soccer: Johnson boys surge back into Class 5A championship game
The Johnson boys soccer team has spent almost two full seasons chasing the one that got away.
11:51PM ( 7 hours ago )
Playoff soccer: GHS boys suffer controversial loss in semifinals
The scoreboard read "Cambridge 3, Gainesville 0." But those attending the two teams’ Class 6A boys soccer semifinal showdown of nationally-ranked teams may have walked out of Cambridge Stadium feeling unfulfilled.
11:14PM ( 8 hours ago )
(VIDEO) Playoff soccer: Flowery Branch battles McIntosh toe-to-toe before falling in OT
After watching his team scratch, claw and come within a hair's breadth of history on Tuesday Anel Lilic knew there was little he could say to assuage the emotions of the Flowery Branch girls soccer team.
11:01PM ( 8 hours ago )
Soccer: 8-5A coaches announce All-Region teams, awards
The soccer coaches of Region 8-5A reccently announced their choices for All-Region and postseason honors for the 2018 season.
By AccessWDUN Staff
3:56PM ( 15 hours ago )
Playoff soccer: Chestatee taking historic run in stride as it heads to semifinals
Michael Herrin never really experienced a "Eureka!" moment during the regular season -- a match, half or goal that screamed history.
7:53AM ( 23 hours ago )