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Young Lady Rams win 2 straight
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Gizelle Ferguson and Precious Buddington led Newton’s girls soccer team to a 3-1 victory over Rockdale on Friday.
It was the Lady Rams’ second win in as many games after avoiding a winless season on Tuesday. Newton defeated Salem 3-2 to snap a season-opening nine game losing streak, and then beat Rockdale at home for its first Region 2-AAAAAA victory of the year.

It was the first region win for Newton since beating Martin Luther King Jr. on March 27, 2012.
Newton has made some adjustments to try and find a winning formula, including moving Precious Buddington from defense to offense.

“I think the turnaround is, we had a couple players who we used on defense for a couple years and we decided to move Gizelle Ferguson and couple more players to offense,” said Newton coach David Alexander. “The girls have really started to work together as a cohesive group; also it’s been a rebuilding year for us and it’s really starting to pay off.”

Newton has found some new mojo and has completely flipped the switch on. Newton started with big losses to Locust Grove, Heritage, Luella and Druid Hills. During that 9-game stretch, Newton lost a total of six games by more than four goals. Newton also had some tough losses to region teams Alcovy and Rockdale.

Newton has six games left this season and is looking to improve in each one and finish the year off on a positive note.

“We like to finish strong and maybe end with a .500 season if we can. We don’t have any hopes for playoffs, but we’re playing for pride now,” Alexander said.

The Lady Rams by far had their best game of the season Friday with sharp passing, moving the ball quickly and getting shots on goal.

Buddington started off Newton’s offensive outbreak attacking the goal early and often. She got a breakaway ball and quickly put her foot on the pedal, putting a shot on frame and sneaked it past the goalkeeper with one minute left in the first half.

“I feel as though my skills are getting better and the people around me are getting better and team is starting to communicate more,” Buddington said.

After Buddington’s goal, Ferguson took over, scoring two — both in the second half. Her first came with 18 minutes left in the game, as Rockdale started to build confidence and get momentum.

“Gizelle has really blossomed,” Alexander said. “She is an excellent team leader, a very coachable young lady, and I can’t say enough good things about her.”

Ferguson wasn’t finished yet.

Newton gave up a goal to Rockdale with 14 minutes left to play, putting the pressure on Newton close out the game. Ferguson would seal the victory on her second goal of the game, with only 10 minutes left.

“In my mind, I was determined and motivated to get the two goals in,” Ferguson said.