Bearcats secure first ever third-round playoff birth with win over Wayne County

Published 8:41 pm Friday, April 26, 2024

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The Bearcats move on to the GHSA 4A state playoff quarterfinals with a 5-1 win over Wayne County. The third-round playoff birth is the first in Bainbridge soccer history.

Bearcats head coach Brian Hill said one of the team’s main objectives for the year was to win in the second round.

“We had two goals this season,” Hill said. “Our number one goal was to win region, the next goal was to get past the second round and get to the third round. And now, each week, We’ve got a new goal.”

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Sophomore striker Jose Bonilla-Ortiz led the team with two goals in the victory, but senior midfielder Brock Williams stole the show, scoring an acrobatic, diving header. 

Williams soared through the air to connect with a cross at the back post, netting the team’s third goal of the night.

“Brock’s definitely a good offensive player,” Hill said. “He brings a spark to us.”

Sophomore midfielder Angel Bonilla-Ortiz and senior midfielder Joel Sarmiento each scored a penalty kick in the second half, giving the Bearcats their five-goal total.

The four-point victory is a stark contrast from Bainbridge’s first-round nail-biter against Troup County. The game went into overtime and Penalty kicks, where senior goalkeeper Lathan Holt made two game-saving stops to lead the Bearcats to a 2-1 (4-2) victory.

“It was good to possess the ball a lot better,” Hill said. “We can pretty much control the game for the most part. It was good to get back to that.”

Bainbridge will welcome the winner of Westminster and Lovett to Centennial Field for their third-round playoff matchup. The game will be played on Tuesday, April 30— start time is TBD.