By Nathan DeenApril 17, 2013
FORT BENNING, Ga., (April 17, 2013) -- While its offense doesn't always click, the Hardaway High School soccer team showed why it has one of the area's top defenses in a 4-0 win April 10 over Central High School (Phenix City).
Led by David Scott, who Hardway head coach Rich Iden thinks is one of the best goalies in Georgia, and senior defender Tony Redmond, the Hawks (13-1) haven't allowed more than two goals in a game this year.
After struggling in the first half, Redmond played a near-flawless second half defensively, and that strong defensive play will help Hardaway be successful in the upcoming playoffs, Iden said.
"(Redmond) has incredible speed," Iden said. "He's our senior. He played great in the second half, got the team fired up and made some good saves. He denied Central's offense. The team feels more confident when he's back there. He's probably one of the few guys we can't do without."
Offensively, Iden said his team was trying to do too much in the first half. The game was scoreless until Hardaway's Hector Zamudio broke the tie by converting a penalty kick seconds before the half expired.
Forward Hector Reguero began knocking on the door in the second half with three shots-on-goal, one of which nearly curved in the left corner before Central's goalie swatted it away. Finally, in the 58th minute, Reguero got one to go in as he hit a shot from the right side of the field into the left corner.
Tito Echevarria made it 3-0 with a beautiful kick that dropped in over the keeper's head from 20 yards out, and Jose Cruz added the final goal in the 75th minute.
"If the (offense) plays the way it's supposed to play … they can be effective," Iden said. "When you try to do things you're not very good at, you're going to struggle. We did some things (in the first half) that didn't help us.
"You can't dribble through everybody when they're expecting you to do that. We get stubborn sometimes."
The Hawks will have had over a week of rest by the time they play Friday against Columbus, a matchup between two heavyweight programs.
Hardaway has already secured second place in region 1-AAAAA after a 1-0 loss to Bainbridge, which won the region. The Hawks will host a first-round playoff game and Iden said Friday's game against the Blue Devils will be good preparation for the postseason.