By Doug Gorman
Jonesboro High School might just be turning into a soccer power.
Thursday afternoon the Cardinals defeated Woodland High School 3-1 in the first round of the Class AAAA tournament.
The victory means both the Jonesboro boys and girls are still alive in the state tournament. Wednesday afternoon, the Lady Cardinals also won their first-round match, beating Lakeview Ft. Oglethorpe 2-1.
In Thursday's boys action, the Jonesboro boys scored the first two goals of the match, and then held off a furious comeback attempt against Woodland in a game that was extremly physical at both ends of the field.
With Woodland attempting to tie the game and possibly send the match into overtime, Kevin Saxby saved the day for the Cardinals, scoring with 5:15 remaining in the match to give the Cardinals some needed breathing room.
"That goal was huge," said Jonesboro coach Kenny Cooper. "It sort of gave us back the momentum."
Jonesboro scored the first goal of the game less than 10 minutes into the contest when Lamin Sowaneh scored on a high arching shot that sailed over the top of the Woodland goalkeepers' hands. Senior Patrick Saxby assisted on the goal.
That was the only score of the first half as the Cardinals took a 1-0 lead at the break.
It took less than four minutes into the second half for the Cardinals to take a 2-0 lead when Santiago Figueroa scored on an assist from Jonathan Ramos.
Woodland put a scare into the Cardinals with its only score of the game when it scored on a penalty kick with 26:41 remaining in the game.
Jonesboro goalkeeper David Fleming turned away several other Woodland scoring chances.
The Cardinals play Ethowah in round two of the state playoffs. Ethowah beat Rockdale County 3-0 in its first round game.
In other action, North Clayton fell to Dalton 5-2 in its first round game.