South Forsyth's season ended Tuesday evening after the War Eagles failed to find the back of the net in a 2-0 defeat at the hands of Walton at “Raider Valley” in the first round of the Class AAAAAA state playoffs.
Heading into the match, South had won four of five games and had goal totals of seven and five during that span, but nagging injuries here and there slowed their attack when it mattered most.
“We got a few who were hobbled bad, so we had to rearrange the lineup, especially in the second half,” South head coach Tom Braun said. “We had a pretty good first half, but in the second half we were a little bit slow and we weren't able to get the equalizer, then they went ahead 2-0 and that was it.”
The bright spot for South was the performance from senior Hannah Goudy, who recorded 10 saves in the net as Walton overwhelmingly put more shots on goal throughout contest, recording 12 shots to three for the War Eagles.
“She's one of the top players we've had,” Braun said of the UGA signee. “She's been phenomenal, has had a great four-year career and she kept us in the ball game today. I can't ask any more of her in that aspect.”
South finishes the season 14-4 and went into the week with a top ten ranking in the eurosportscoreboard.com poll. Braun hopes his nucleus of younger players, including four freshman (Mary Lichtenwalner, Jenna Vollrath, Payton Schurr, Reagan Smith) and four sophomores (Alex Melnyk, Alli Norton, Meagan Postell, Gabby Tanjuatco) who started Tuesday, will make for a bright future.
“It was a great year for us,” Braun said. “We don't have any juniors, just three seniors, so this is a very young squad moving forward. Having four or five freshman in the starting lineup each night, these kids still played extremely well and had a great season. We'll be back, rebound and be ready for next season.”
South fell behind 1-0 with just over three minutes left in the first half when Walton used a spread formation on a corner kick. Olivia Eck scored when she met a ground-feed from the corner and scored from roughly ten yards out.
Erin Ratchick then put the game away with 16 minutes remaining, corralling a deflection in front of Goudy and making a one-on-one move to score from close range.
Aside from Goudy, it was the last game for midfielder Abby Nearing and captain and back Elena Zang.