Members of the Nation Ford soccer team celebrate after Camryn Rogers (6) scored their first goal of the game against Fort Mill.

An aggressive Nation Ford Falcons girls’ soccer team used that to their advantage as they shutout rivals Fort Mill to get a 2-0 victory Tuesday night and tying things all up in Region 3-5A.

The win puts the Falcons in a three-way tie with Clover and Fort Mill for the lead. Clover beat Nation Ford earlier in the season, but Fort Mill beat Clover Monday night and now the Falcons have beaten Fort Mill in their first meeting of the season. All three teams are 2-1 in region play and Nation Ford is 8-5 overall with the win.

“It is a huge win,” said Nation Ford head coach Khrys Dundr. “We knew we had to come out and play well. The girls worked hard and did what we asked them to do.”

Dundr said he feels that the region is one of the best in the state with three strong teams in themselves, Fort Mill and Clover.

“We have to keep working to prove it,” he said. “I think the work rate was good tonight. We tried to disrupt what Fort Mill was trying to do. That was huge and not let them be comfortable with the ball.”

Nation Ford controlled possession often in the game and never really let Fort Mill get the openings or the shots they wanted. The Falcons got on the board when Camryn Rogers launched a shot from about 25 yards out that found the back of the net about nine minutes in the match.

The match was back and forth from that point on for the rest of the first half. Nation Ford was able to really hold Fort Mill at bay, despite allowing several corner kicks and free kicks.

The Falcons increased their intensity in the second half and was able to do an even better job keeping Fort Mill from getting off shots that were anywhere near the goal. Nation Ford was able to put the game away with about 13 minutes to play as Ellyce Gowdy scored on a breakaway to make it 2-0.

For the Jackets, it was two long days of soccer coming off beating Clover 2-1 Monday night at home and then turning around and having to play Nation Ford Tuesday on the road. The loss drops Fort Mill to 8-3-2 overall on the season.

“We learned from our highs when we win, but we also need to learn from the losses,” said Fort Mill head coach Joelle Brotemarkle. “It physically and mentally draining to play two days like that. It is a lot to ask from them.”

Fort Mill returns to action at Weddington and Nation Ford is back on the pitch hosting Gaffney with both of those game coming Tuesday, March 29.

In other games…

The Nation Ford baseball team improved to 2-0 in Region 3-5A play with a 11-1 win over Gaffney Tuesday night at home. The Falcons are now 2-4 overall on the season.

The Catawba Ridge boys’ tennis team improved to 3-2 overall on the season and 2-0 in Region 3-4A play with a 6-0 win over Indian Land. Winning for Catawba Ridge was Devin Hartzog 6-2, 6-4; Eric Finley 6-1, 6-1; Aiden Liles 6-0, 6-2; Charlie Gallagher 6-0, 6-1; Sammy Mullis 6-0, 6-0 and Koen Tesamale and Cade Gainey 6-4, 6-2.  

The Catawba Ridge softball team won 6-2 over Indian Land with Janelle Ilacqua and Kendra Murray each hitting home runs for the Copperheads. The win puts Catawba Ridge at 11-1 overall and 2-0 in Region 3-4A.

Mac Banks:, @fortprep

Nation Ford’s Mary Holt gets the worst of a collision between herself and two Fort Mill players during the Falcons home match Tuesday.
Fort Mill’s Dylan Harder moves the ball down the field against Nation Ford’s Riley Cota during the rivalry match between the schools.