By Josh Holland
For the Forsyth County News
South Forsyth senior Lauren Kelly lofted the ball towards the goal, hopeful that one of her teammates would put it in the back of the net. Instead, the ball sailed towards North Forsyth goalkeeper Savannah Cummings, struggling to read its flight and recover. Cummings managed to get a touch on the ball, but it wasn’t enough to keep it out of the back of the net, and South edged into the lead.
“Honestly, I was trying to cross and I think the wind kind of carried it in.” Kelly admitted afterwards.
South’s 2-0 win in Raider Valley on Tuesday night was their first in region play, putting the War Eagles at 1-4 in Region 5-7A.
“It feels good,” South head coach Eric Swanburg said. “It's been tough because half the team has played new positions, so I think this is a good step forward in the right direction.”
At the half, South were creating the majority of the chances but couldn’t manage to convert any of them and the scoreline remained 0-0.
Swanburg then made another position change and opted to move Kelly from the midfield into the front three. This change brought more pace to the War Eagle attack, and it was only a matter of time before they took the lead.
Just one minute into the second half South were already pushing the envelope, forcing a diving save. It was seemingly just a matter of time before they opened the scoring, and 10 minutes later Kelly scored the opener.
“We pushed her up there because of her technical ability to take players on,” Swanburg said. “Ideally, I like her moving forward to the holding (midfielder) to be able to hold play and possession for us, but she adds that extra number forward for us and the ability to beat players one-on-one.”
Riley McBride doubled the War Eagles’ lead after her initial shot fell back into play, causing a mad scramble in the six yard box. For the rest of the game, South controlled possession in the midfield and secured the win.
“We definitely needed this win, because we’ve been coming off a few losses” Kelly said after the game. “We just needed to take advantage of all the opportunities we got out there”
This brought the War Eagles record to 2-6, while the Raiders fell to 1-4-1 on the season and 0-3-0 in region play.
South Forsyth boys 2, North Forsyth 0
From kickoff, South appeared in control. They were faster to the ball and held more possession than North straight away. Halfway through the first half, they converted this edge into a goal through Jose Fontana. The sophomore scored the opener off of a low corner to the near post, beating his man to the ball and flicking the ball perfectly into the opposite corner.
Ventura wasn’t done in the second half, and got another to double his side’s lead. He almost secured a hat-trick, but his chip over the keeper was too powerful and it rebounded off the field goal post.
Despite being 2-0 down North had one glimmer of hope with 12 minutes left to play, as the Raiders forced a diving save from 20 yards out. From there, South cruised easily to its third win in the region.
South sit at 4-3-1, 3-2, on the season while North are still searching for their first win of the season at 0-5-1, 0-3.