After reeling off 33 consecutive wins since the start of the 2012 season, Lambert’s boys soccer team finally lost a game.
South Forsyth freshman midfielder Chris Mikus scored the only goal of the contest in the 50th minute en route to a 1-0 victory over No. 2-ranked Lambert on Friday at The Horn. The defeat marks the first time the Longhorns have lost to a county opponent since the program began in 2009.
The War Eagles (7-5, 5-5 Region 6-AAAAAA) have now won five of their last six games after dropping four in a row.
"The kids just played hard, really," South head coach Tom Braun said. "They’re a very hard squad. [Mikus] stepped up and buried the half-volley from about 18 yards out. He was composed and we defended extremely well.
"Our defense was just on all night and it was just a super win for us. [Mikus’] goal was huge. … Our kids came out and didn’t quit and that’s high school soccer."
Despite outshooting South 18-5, the Longhorns (10-1, 9-1) couldn’t solve senior keeper Kyler Kelsey. Kelsey racked up 10 saves, but his biggest threat came in the 23rd minute as Lambert’s Cooper Coughlin crossed the ball into the box and hit the right post before the South defense cleared it away.
"I just reacted to the shot and [Coughlin] plays on my club team, so I get a lot of practice with him," Kelsey said.
"It feels great to win against Lambert [during] my senior year. It means a lot for this program and shows we’re growing as a team."
Mitch Fandos tried to tie the game for Lambert midway through the second half with a free kick from 25 yards out, but his shot hit the South wall and was cleared away.
The Longhorns continued to press on offense late in the game and forced a corner with three minutes left in regulation. Coughlin took the corner, but a South defender knocked it out of play for another corner kick. Coughlin tried again, but the defense stood firm and forced the ball out of the box.
Lambert took a free kick from outside the box with 1:20 left on the clock, but South’s defense didn’t budge and cleared it away.
"You take the loss and move on from it and decide what’s going to happen next," Lambert head coach Chris Wilson said. "It doesn’t get any easier; we have Centennial on Tuesday.
"I don’t think anything went wrong. … I think we just didn’t finish opportunities we had.
"We never talked about how many games in a row [we had won]. I’m sure guys thought about it, but we never talked about it. Our goal isn’t to be undefeated; our goal is to get to the state playoffs…"
South will play at home against Johns Creek on Tuesday at 8 p.m., while Lambert will host Centennial at 7:55 p.m.