By Josh Holland
For the Forsyth County News
The South Forsyth boys soccer team’s performance against Forsyth Central on Friday night showed the difference that halftime can make.
In the first half, neither side looked significantly better than the other, but a change in mindset and a crucial goal in the first 10 minutes of the second half led to a 1-0 win for the War Eagles.
Straight from the start of the second half, South came out strong. Pressing higher and more aggressively than they had in the first half, it seemed only a matter of time before they got on the scoreboard.
“(We were) finally able to click and become a lot more offensive minded,” War Eagles coach Chere’ Thomas said.
Sophomore Patrick Kelly found the breakthrough for the War Eagles seven minutes into second half after a cross from the right side found him all alone eight yards out. After an awkward first touch that sent the ball straight up in the air he controlled it and directed the ball perfectly into the far left corner.
“(It was) a really good combination play out there with Nick Postell.”
Kelly came close again later in the half, but his shot from distance was denied by the crossbar.
“(I just needed to) shoot,” Kelly said. “Just shoot more, and that really paid off.”
For the remainder of the second half, South kept its noses in front with a relentless high press and a strong back line.
Central thought they had equalized off a corner with eight minutes left. However, the linesman had spotted the ball hit the field goal post, which kept it in play. They were left frustrated in the second half after their build-up play always seemed to fall apart when they neared the box.
South moved to 2-2 in Region 5-7A play and 3-3-1 record overall. Central fell to 1-2 in region play and 5-2-0 overall.
Forsyth Central girls 1, South Forsyth 0
The majority of the first game of the evening was spent scoreless, with both teams struggling to create any significant chances. In the first half, Central looked most likely to score, as they dominated possession but failed to convert on a golden opportunity.
The South back line made a poor clearance which freshman Chloe Bailey pounced on but failed to make the most of from 10 yards out. Her shot narrowly flew over the bar after being one-on-one with the keeper.
The War Eagles had one good chance in the first half, but Lyndsey Francingues watched her effort from the top of the box sail just wide.
The second half was most of the same with both teams coming close but it wasn’t until a free kick with four minutes left in the game broke the deadlock. Alexis Sherman connected with the ball beautifully from more than 30 yards out and it found the side netting to end the defensive stalemate.
The result put Central at 5-2-0, 2-1, and South fell to 1-6-0, 0-4.