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Soccer: South girls overcome changes to best North, even region record
South Forsyth junior Morgan Fleeman kicks the ball with North Forsyth's Anna Smilnak defending her on Monday, March 2, 2020. - photo by David Almeda

South Forsyth’s girls soccer team found itself in a unique situation going into its Monday road tilt with North Forsyth.

The War Eagles were on the receiving end of a rare mid-season coaching change last week, with Erik Moore taking the reins of South’s program. Moore certainly has soccer experience — he started West Forsyth’s boys soccer program when that school opened — but even after South’s 2-0 win over the Raiders, there’s still some progress to be made with his new team.

“It's just them getting used to me and me getting used to them,” Moore said. “We've got two wins and I've been with them for one and half practices. That's a testament to them and the talent here. We just need to solidify some things.

“I think we got after it, but it was just the anticipation aspect of things. Once they start anticipating a bit more, we'll be fine. We're getting the ball down there... It's just training.”

The pitch was wet throughout the game, with rain starting and stopping throughout. That didn’t stop the War Eagles from scoring early, though, with Peyton Goolsby finding the back of the net for a 1-0 lead with 35:40 left in the first half.

South continued to hold most of the possession in the opening period, but partially due to the rain, the War Eagles couldn’t get the opportunities they wanted.

“I think any time you play on a slick surface like this, when the rain's going 90 miles and hour, it's hard to get a touch on the ball,” Moore said. “Our touch was off, but once we settled down a little bit, we were fine.”

The War Eagles scored again to start the second half, making it 2-0 with 36:07 left in regulation. North had some chances, including a close miss from Kaylee Baldwin with 25:30 left, but while the Raiders couldn’t capitalize, head coach Jared Steinberg saw an improvement in effort compared to his team’s 5-0 loss to Milton on Friday.

“We didn't try very hard,” Steinberg said. “I think the girls knew that — They understood that. Coming into tonight, I think they played more for each other, as a team. We need to start doing more of the little things right, making some more overlapping runs out of the back. Early in the season we were doing a great job crossing the ball. It's just not there for us right now.”

With the win, South improved to 4-5-0 overall and 2-2 in Region 5-7A. North dropped to 1-5-1 overall and 0-4 in the region.