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Friday July 1st, 2022 7:47PM

(VIDEO) Playoff soccer: Gainesville boys fight back into quarters for first time since '14

By AccessWDUN Staff
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GAINESVILLE — The Gainesville boys soccer extinguished two years of frustration on Wednesday.

After back-to-back second round playoff exits in 2016 and '15, the Red Elephants ensured no more Sweet 16 disappointments, battling back from a 1-1 scoreline to pull out a 3-1 victory over Glynn Academy at City Park, surging into the quarterfinals for the first time since 2014.

After taking a 1-0 lead Gainesville responded admirably to a second-half Glynn Academy equalizer, forcing a Terrors own goal just minutes later to grab a 2-1 advantage. Armando Hernandez then buried any thoughts of a Glynn fightback, slamming a 28-yard shot into the upper right corner of the Terrors goal with 29:08 remaining.

Even with a makeshift defense, it was an advantage the third-ranked Red Elephants (17-2) were not about to let slip.

"We lost our captain and centerback (Wilson Velasquez) on Monday; he was out for the week with his appendix," Gainesville coach Elie Viviant said. "We played Derian Alarcon at centerback tonight -- he had been playing forward. But he's pretty athletic, and he did a good job for someone who hasn't been playing there this season."

Velasquez will return to the team just in time to face fifth-ranked Centennial at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at City Park in the state quarterfinals. The Knights won a 7-3 scorefest over eighth-ranked Houston County in their second round match-up.

"There is no easy game now, but I feel as long as we are at home -- we have only lost to Johnson in overtime at home this season -- we have a good chance," Viviant said. "We played well today; we controlled the game, and I felt we deserved to win. We also got to play 17 players today, which was good."

Gainesville broke through a determined Glynn defensive set-up midway through the first half on a delightful chip pass and finish from Alejandro Covarrubias, who beat the Terrors goalkeeper at the near post in the 24th minute of the first half for a 1-0 advantage. The that held till the interval, despite a menacing run from Gainesville's Pedro Santos, who jinked his way into the Glynn penalty area, beating the Terrors goalkeeper one-on-one only to slip at the definitive moment and scuff his shot, allowing the visitors to clear.

Yet the Terrors battled back to even the score at 1-1 just moments after the kickoff.

It lasted just seconds, however, as the own goal put Gainesville back in front before Hernandez's pile driver settled things.

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