Lakeside loses Region 2-AAAA soccer title game

GLYNN ACADEMY 1, LAKESIDE 0 (SO)

As the first freshman to start at goalkeeper in Glynn Academy boys soccer history, Connor Behrend has faced extra pressure all season.

Facing even more pressure as Tuesday night's Region 2-AAAA championship game against Lakeside came down to penalty kicks, he came up big.

In the sixth round of the shootout, Behrend punched away Yutetsu Ametani's attempt in the top right corner to give the Terrors their second consecutive region title.

"Coach has been riding me all year because I've been guessing on PKs," he said. "So I reacted to that one, and I got the save."

Behrend made two saves and saw another shot go high in the shootout. Lakeside sophomore keeper Cason Belding saved one early and saw Glynn Academy's fifth attempt -- the potential winner -- sail high and left.

Jesus Gonzales made the sixth attempt to set up Behrend's heroics.

Lakeside (14-3-1), which won the Region 3-AAAA title last season, was attempting to hand Glynn Academy (18-0-0) its first loss of the season.

Penalty kicks followed a game in which neither team gained a significant advantage in possession.

Glynn Academy appeared to have a golden opportunity in the latter stages of the second half, but Eric Prehiem swept through and cleared away a free ball in front of the net.

With two minutes to go in regulation, Lakeside pushed forward and had sustained pressure inside the 18-yard box but couldn't get a quality shot off.

Belding, who had seven saves, believes the competitive matchup will help the Panthers, who will open the Class AAAA state playoffs Wednesday night at home.

"I think it'll pick us up coming off a loss," he said. "We know how bad it feels to lose, so I think it'll pick our spirits up because we don't want that feeling of losing."

Reach Justin Williams at (706) 868-1222, ext. 116, or justin.williams@augustachronicle.com.

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