TOLBERT

Commerce's Ivy Tolbert heads a ball during the Tigers' 5-0 win over Dawson County Thursday (Feb. 25). 

Playing its first-ever home game on the Ray Lamb Stadium turf, the Commerce girls’ soccer team made sure it was a celebratory occasion.

Behind two goals from Chloe Diaz, the Class A-Public No. 1-ranked Tigers improved to 5-0 with a 4-0 win over Class AAA Dawson County Thursday (Feb. 25).

“It felt to good to come out with a win for sure,” coach Deanna Shaw said.

Commerce’s high school soccer program will play its home games on-campus this season after previously hosting games at the middle school.

Facing a conservative game plan from Dawson County aimed at limiting the Tigers’ ability to attack, Commerce managed its lone score in the first half with a goal from Ivy Tolbert in the 16th minute.

The Tigers, however, broke through in the final 40 minutes three second-half scores.

“They were taking their time to get into the open spaces, which they weren’t doing, kind of, in the first half,” Shaw said.

Kate Hill finished at the net after a shot on goal by Diaz in the 48th minute, and Diaz later scored on a breakaway in the 57th minute. Diaz found the back of the net again in the 69th minute to cap the Tigers’ 13th win in 14 games dating back to last year.

Shaw said she was pleased with her team’s second-half response.

“We were frustrated in the first half, and we didn’t let that kind of take advantage of us,” Shaw said.

The Tigers have now outscored their competition 41-3 this season.

The victory marked Commerce’s fourth shutout in five games as goal keeper Kendall Peters and the Tiger backline recorded another clean sheet.

“Our defense really played solid today,” Shaw said. “Kendall really stepped it up in the goal. That was her best game of the season. She wasn’t afraid to come out and get those balls, and we’ve been looking for that from her.”

The game served as Commerce’s final non-region contest before the start of region play. Dawson County (0-7) is winless this season, but was a 13-2 state playoff team just two years ago and compiled a record of 112-24-1 between the 2012-2019 seasons.

“They’re definitely better than their record shows,” Shaw said. “So, yes, it was definitely a good tune-up to get us ready for that region play, some of the tougher teams that we’re going to face.”

The Tigers open region play Tuesday (March 2, 5 p.m.) against Towns County.

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