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High school soccer: Dalton drops showdown with fellow 5A power McIntosh

Mar. 11—Dalton High School's boys soccer team fell in a showdown with another Class 5A state power on Saturday.

The Catamounts (6-3-1) lost 3-1 Saturday to unbeaten McIntosh (9-0) in a game played at Dalton Stadium next to Dalton Junior High and The Dalton Academy.

Dalton, a seven-time state champion, scored the first goal of the game, but McIntosh, which has won eight state titles, scored three unanswered to take the win.

Jose Tapia got Dalton on the board first in the game with a first-half goal. The Catamounts couldn't answer as McIntosh scored three goals to head back to Peachtree City with an undefeated and untied record.

Dalton and McIntosh also played in a similar showdown last year, with the Catamounts falling 4-1 at McIntosh last season, but Dalton recovered nicely from that loss, one of only two in the regular season last year.

Dalton went on to win the Class 5A championship. Midtown knocked off McIntosh in the 5A quarterfinals, and Dalton defeated Midtown 2-0 in the state championship game.

This year, Midtown is looking for its first state title since 2021. Dalton also won the state championship that year, when Dalton was in Class 6A and McIntosh was in 5A.

With three losses through nine games, Dalton already has more losses than it's had in any year since the 2018 season. Dalton finished 16-3-1 that year, and hasn't lost more than two games in a season since, until this season.

Dalton's losses this year have come against a highly-competitive schedule. One loss came against defending 2A champ Pace Academy, and another came at the hands of a Cass team that started 7-1. Dalton also ended the 31-game unbeaten streak of Gainesville's Johnson, the defending 4A champ, earlier this season.

Dalton is back in action tonight at 7 with a home game against Coahulla Creek.