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Alexander season ends in semis
by Ericka Birdsong
ebirdsong@neighbornewspapers.com
May 15, 2013 11:11 AM | 1033 views | 0 0 comments | 11 11 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Alexander senior Andrew Lewis takes possession of the ball during practice last week.
Alexander senior Andrew Lewis takes possession of the ball during practice last week.
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The Alexander boys’ soccer team lost to Spalding 2-1 in the semifinals May 11 after defeating perennial state power Marist in the second round of the Georgia High School Association Class AAAA Boys State Soccer Tournament on May 8.

Led by head coach Jose Cuellar, the boys made school history in front of the Marist home crowd in DeKalb County and advanced to the semifinals.

“We were ready for them and were able to jump ahead 2-0.

“The game was extremely physical. We were all extremely proud of the boys as they became the first team in school soccer history to beat Marist,” said Cuellar.

Prior to the game, Cuellar said he knew this would be a “battle” and a win they would really have to work for. In order to get the victory Cuellar said, “We have to be ready for that, try to match their physicality, keep our composure, make good on our scoring opportunities, and, above all, protect the ball.”

Scoring the goals against Marist were Aaron Ayala, Dom Ruggiero and Stephen Tew.

Ayala led the team in scoring with 23 goals. Ruggiero and Tew, along with Kevin Frost, led the team in steals.

In round one, the Cougars defeated Lanier 2-1 at home on May 1.

“We played a great game against Lanier. After watching the film, we could say that, defensively, we played an almost error free game… Offensively, we scored two great goals,” Cuellar said.

According to Cuellar, Alexander did a good job of playing on the attacking half throughout most of the game, limiting Lanier’s chances to score. However, his team did not take care of the ball as well as he would have liked, he said.

This season, Cuellar said, has been filled with “good soccer” by the Cougars, but he knows his team is capable of much more.

“It has been impossible to field a complete team the entire year due to sickness and several season ending injuries,” Cuellar said mentioning knee injuries suffered by Case Munro and Matt Cooke.

Before his injury, Munro led the team in assists with 11.

While the team saw some adversity, Cuellar said, “The boys stepped it up and got us to where we are now.”

Cuellar noted the contributions of every player on the team as he said they have all done so much for the team.
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