Jeff Michaud’s first hat trick as a varsity player was more than enough offense for North Forsyth’s boys Thursday night.
Michaud, a freshman, scored his third goal less than four minutes into the second half, and senior teammate Sam Melgar added two of his own in the final nine minutes, leading North’s boys to a 5-0 victory against White County in Raider Valley.
North (4-2-2) applied intense pressure to the goal in the second half and at times forced the Warriors’ goalkeeper to make multiple saves each minute.
“It was a good comeback for us after having a rough game earlier in the week, being able to come back and put pressure on the goal and find our game again,” said North coach Jonathan Feicht, who assists head coach Jack Maynard.
“We did a real good job of getting the ball wide, getting the ball in from the side. Most of our goals, we had good crosses in from the side.”
Sophomore Ryan Herbert provided crosses that led to two of Michaud’s three goals. Michaud took the first from the left side in the 27th minute and sent a shot toward the goal.
White County goalkeeper Kolby Mooney got a hand on the ball as he tried to make a diving save, but momentum carried both into the net.
Michaud struck again just over four minutes later. The freshman chipped a high, arcing shot in the air over Mooney from inside the box, and the ball came back down in time to get under the crossbar and into the net.
“He’s really been making a push as the season has gone on,” Feicht said of Michaud.
“He’s really found himself. He plays hard all the time and never quits on the ball.”
Michaud’s final goal came via another cross from Herbert following a pair of saves from the goalkeeper.
Despite a steady barrage of shots, the Raiders weren’t able to improve on their 3-0 lead until the 72nd minute.Melgar weaved his way between a pair of defenders and sent a shot past the goalkeeper for his team’s fourth goal.
He struck again less than four minutes later, heading the ball in off a free kick by Brandon Herbert.
“Sam has been solid for us for a couple of years,” Feicht said. “He’s been our guy, and it was good to see him get a couple of goals, too.”
Not even at the midpoint of the season yet, the Raiders already have more wins this year than each of the previous three.
North gets back to region play against county rival West Forsyth on Tuesday (7:30 p.m.) in Coal Mountain, and Feicht hopes the team’s success will continue when it counts the most.
“We really feel like we’ve come a long way,” the coach said.
“There are several teams we should have competitive games [with], and if we put in a couple of goals, we’ll be in the thick of it.”