By Greg Oshust
For the Forsyth County News
KENNESAW — South Forsyth's boys soccer team grabbed an early lead and held on to beat Harrison in penalty kicks in the quarterfinals of the Class 7A playoffs Wednesday at Cobleigh Stadium.
Trailing 2-0 early in the second half, Harrison (14-4) – the second seed from Region 3-7A – came back to tie the game at 2-all and force it into overtime. However South Forsyth (13-3) – the fourth seed from 6-7A – prevailed 4-2 in the penalty kick phase to take the win and advance to a semifinal matchup with South Gwinnett next Tuesday.
Up 1-0 at halftime, South nearly added to its lead with 36:30 remaining in the game, but Jose Ventura's shot from about 10 yards out was stopped by a diving save from Harrison goalkeeper Aiden Rice.
The War Eagles were more successful on their next attempt, as Dylan Xu scored on a breakaway with 35:22 left to make it 2-0.
Harrison got on the scoreboard less than a minute later when Evan Buecker scored from short range at the 34:47 mark to cut the Hoyas' deficit to 2-1.
The Hoyas struck again when Blake Buffington scored with 21:04 left to tie the game at 2-all.
Harrison fell just short of taking the lead when Tyler Vitelli's shot hit the left goalpost with 8:05 and the second half ended in a 2-all tie, sending the game to overtime.
After two scoreless overtime periods, the two teams went to penalty kicks. Buecker and Neil Benore made their PK attempts, but the Hoyas missed two others, and South successfully converted all four of its tries to clinch the game.
South got on the scoreboard first when Ventura scored on header with 24:34 remaining in the first half to give the War Eagles a 1-0 lead that they carried into halftime.