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Soccer: Forsyth Central girls top South Forsyth behind Avery Berryman's hat trick
Brielle LaBerge
Forsyth Central sophomore Brielle LaBerge looks downfield for a teammate Thursday during the Bulldogs' 3-0 win against South Forsyth. - photo by David Roberts

By Jacob Smith

For the Forsyth County News

Though the Forsyth Central crowd did not shower the soccer field with their hats, they had reason to do so.

Junior Avery Berryman blessed Bulldog Stadium with a hat trick Thursday in Central's Region 6-7A opener against South Forsyth. Central won the game 3-0. 

After both teams remained scoreless at the end of the first half, Central head coach Angela Camp said the halftime message was not anything special, but to keep fighting for possession and getting shots on goal.

“The girls really wanted this,” Camp said. “I think they were maybe just trying too hard at the beginning. We were shooting it above the goal, right of the keeper. I told them to keep pushing and that we weren’t gonna win unless you keep ripping shots. And that’s what they did.” 

Berryman scored all three of her goals within the first 12 minutes of the second half, the first coming immediately off the opening possession. She drove right through the defense for the first goal of the game. 

Her next two goals, the second coming four minutes after the first and the third six minutes after the second, looked almost identical to the first, running past the War Eagles defenders on a breakaway. 

“I really think Avery is just an amazing player,” Camp said. “She is such a dynamic player with the ball at her feet. You don’t know where she’s going or what she’s going to do. Not only is she an incredible player, but she finished.” 

Central almost broke a scoreless tie in the first half off a breakaway goal by sophomore Kieryn Jeter, but the referee whistled her offside after the ball passed the goalie. 

Though time of possession belonged to the Bulldogs, South used the most of its offense, delivering several shots on goal throughout the game. 

Their best scoring attempt came with 10 minutes left in the first half. A beautiful War Eagle shot was blocked by Bulldogs goalie, junior Marlee McAdam, leading to a corner attempt. South put the attempt right where they needed to, but McAdam stretched out and caught the ball over the South player's head. 

The 3-0 victory was the first shutout victory of the season for the Bulldogs after finishing in a scoreless tie with Pope last week.

The War Eagles [2-5, 0-1 Region 6-7A] dropped their third in a row after playing to ranked programs in Buford and Johns Creek prior to Thursday night’s game. South will travel just a few yards down Peachtree Parkway next week when the War Eagles take on Pinecrest Academy Feb. 24.

The Bulldogs [3-2-1, 1-0 in Region 6-7A] return to action Tuesday at Milton in a non-region matchup. Camp said she hopes the region win will help sustain the momentum her team has been building so far this season. 

“We don’t really have to keep them up for it,” Camp said. “They want it just as bad as anyone. It feels fantastic to get this first one.”