GAUTIER -- Three Gautier players scored two goals each as the Gators advanced to the second round of the MHSAA Class 5A soccer playoffs with a 9-0 win over Provine on Thursday.
With the win, Gautier (13-6-4) advances to the second round after missing the playoffs last year, traveling to Laurel (11-5-2) Saturday. Kickoff time has not been set.
The Golden Tornadoes advanced to the second round with a 5-1 win over Pearl River Central on Monday.
Logan Dawe started the scoring four minutes into the match with the first of two goals. Gautier would go on to score three goals over the first 17 minutes of play and opened a 6-0 lead at half before clearing the bench in the second half.
Salvador Figueros and Andres Sanchez also scored two goals each. LeCharles Pringle, Gabe Blevins and Josh Penton scored single goals each for Gautier.
The majority of the game was played in the Rams defensive zone, although Provine (5-10) managed to push the ball into the Gautier zone several times in the second half against the Gators second line. Still, Gautier keepers had only two saves, both on long shots that were easily caught in front of the Gators goal.
Provine managed only one serious attack on goal when Eccleius Macon got behind the Gautier defense 16 minutes into the second half for a run on the Gators goal. However, Macon's shot went wide left of the goal.
"We still haven't put 80 minutes together," said Gautier coach Joe Gatschet. "If we put 80 minutes together I feel we can really do something."
Gautier got off to a slow start on the year, starting out with a 4-5-3 record. However, the Gators have gone 9-1-1 over their last 11 games.
"We started out not playing soccer as a team," Gatchet said. "We weren't very organized and we lost a lot of games at the start of the year."
Gatchet said he doesn't know a lot about Laurel, but noted "they are always good."
For Gautier to beat Laurel, he said the Gators need good play from their backfield and midfield. "Our defense has got to be better," he said. "Our midfield has got to help out the backfield and both midfielders and defenders need to come up on offense."