DALTON, Ga. — Ramon Aguilar redirected a rebound with just under 22 minutes left to lift Johnson, ranked No. 2 in the All-class poll, to a thrilling 1-0 win over No. 5 Dalton on the road Friday night.
The match was an intense defensive battle from the beginning, much different than the 9-goal shootout the two teams put on display in 2022. This time, the two defenses, despite a constant back-and-forth affair, were able to keep the offenses at bay.
The Knights had some solid opportunities in the first half but several shots sailed over the cross bar. Johnson keeper Kristian Hernandez made three huge saves in each half to keep the shutout, the seventh straight for Johnson (10-0), in tact.
Senior Landon Avalos led the back line of Miguel Duran, Andres Galicia and Josue Mendoza with an outstanding defensive performance.
Senior Christian Robles played one of his best games in the midfield helping to stop the Catamounts (10-2) dangerous counter.
In the second half, Josue Mendoza hit cross bar when he connected on a cross from Jorge Sandoval. The Knights also missed on a golden 1-on-1 moments before Aguilar's goal.