Troup takes big step with win

Published 4:50 pm Tuesday, March 21, 2017

By Kevin Eckleberry

LAGRANGE – That was a big one.

The Troup Tigers outlasted visiting Cedartown 2-1 on Monday evening at Callaway Stadium to move a step closer to making the state soccer playoffs.

Troup fell to Cartersville 2-1 on March 2, but it has beaten Sandy Creek, Chapel Hill and Cedartown since then to improve to 3-1 in Region 5-AAAA.

Troup completes its region schedule with games against LaGrange and Central-Carroll this week, and it is in great shape to earn one of the region’s four playoff berths.

The Tigers are also still in contention for one of the region’s top two spots, which would give them a home game in the state tournament.

“We wanted this game bad,” Troup’s Alan Vazquez said. “We want to go to the playoffs. We haven’t gone to the playoffs in a couple of years. That’s what I want my senior year. I’d be willing to do anything to help my team.”

Cedartown offered a major test.

The Bulldogs came into the game with just one loss on the season, and they scored the first goal to take the lead.

The Tigers answered with a pair of goals from Jimmy Cancino to take a 2-1 lead, and the Bulldogs were unable to answer.

“That was a good team we played,” Troup head coach Micah Alba said. “It really is a big-time win. They want to give ourselves a chance to be in the playoffs. And we have that now. We have two region games with LaGrange and Central, both this week. So that’s big.”

Cancino was the offensive star of the night with his two goals on assists from Vazquez and Helsyn Martinez.

“He did a great job,” Alba said of Cancino. “He’s been waiting on a breakthrough game, because he’s been working hard all year long. It was great to see him have it come together.”

Troup now turns its attention to Wednesday’s showdown with LaGrange, which is tied for first place in the region with Cartersville.

A win by the Tigers would not only wrap up a state berth, but it would keep them in contention for the region title.

“That’s a big game for us,” Vazquez said. “We’ll go out there with high intensity.”

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