After 90 minutes of scoreless soccer, Nation Ford edged Fort Mill winning 3-1 in penalty kicks to stay perfect in Region 3-5A.
Fort Mill, now 6-4 and 1-1 Region 3-5A, and Nation Ford, now 8-2 and 3-0 Region 3-5A, girls’ soccer teams entered the game looking to get an advantage in the region over the other. For the Falcons, they entered the game at 2-0 in region play, while it was Fort Mill’s second region game on the season as they looked to stay perfect.
In both of Nation Ford’s wins, they were able to get shutouts with a 7-0 win over Gaffney and a 1-0 win over Clover. Fort Mill pummeled Gaffney 9-1 in their only region win as well.
In penalty kicks, Fort Mill started by missing their opening kick. Nation Ford’s Riley Cota hit the first Falcons kick to go up 1-0. The Jackets missed their second kick as well and the Falcons were a perfect two-for-two as Taryn Chase scored afterwards.
Fort Mill hit their third attempt with Allie Evans being the only Jackets’ player converting a penalty kick. Nation Ford closed things out with Mia Mitchell scoring the third and final goal for the Falcons.
Fort Mill head coach Joelle Brotemarkle said losing on penalty kicks is tough after playing their rivals so tightly.
“We couldn’t get a good look at the goal,” she said. “Their goalie is good. Losing on penalty kicks is frustrating.”
In the first half, neither team seemed to be able to crack the box. Nation Ford tried converting on penalty kicks and free kicks in the second half, but never really threatened with either one of them.
The Falcons seemed to be one step ahead of Fort Mill in the second half as they equally controlled the ball, but was able to consistently beat the Jackets to the ball in the open field. The closest the Falcons came to scoring was on a corner kick with about 14 minutes left in the game that led to a header slipping in between the top of the goal and underneath the football cross-bar.
“We knew they would press us hard,” said Nation Ford head coach Khrys Dundr. “At halftime we made some changes and we got more opportunities. Fort Mill is a fantastic team.”
The first half was a stalemate for both teams as their keepers got a lot of work in deflecting shots and stopping everything that came their way.
Nation Ford controlled the ball in the first 10 minutes of the game, but it was the second 10 minutes where Fort Mill started to control possession more and got the first shot on goal in the game, which was deflected by Falcons’ keeper Katelyn Carroll.
Fort Mill kept possession in their half of the field giving them more opportunities, but they struggled to take advantage of it. The Jackets took another shot attempt with about 17 minutes left in the first half, which was easily gobbled up by Carroll.
The Jackets weren’t the only ones taking advantage of their opportunities as Nation Ford got a shot off minutes later, that was stopped by Fort Mill keeper Livy Burt.
Nation Ford and Fort Mill continued to trade possession and shots on goal for much of the first half with neither team getting a clear advantage.
Nation Ford will next play Boiling Springs at home March 30 and Fort Mill will next play at Clover the same day.
Catawba Ridge boys’ soccer beat Northwestern 2-1 in non-region action Friday night to stay undefeated on the season and improve to 12-0-2.
Mac Banks: email@example.com, @fortprep