FORT MILL — Despite dominating for most of the game, the Fort Mill Jackets had to rally to get a 2-1 win over the Spartanburg Vikings during the opening round of the 4A soccer playoffs on Monday.
Fort Mill rallied from being down 1-0 to score two unanswered goals for the win all within the last 12 minutes of the game.
Lady Jackets head coach Ryan Morris was happy for the win, but also concern about the second round later this week.
“Going forward, we have got to do a better job in front of the goal,” he said. “We have got to put the close ones away.”
Fort Mill will now take on the winner of the JL Mann-Wade Hampton game Wednesday.
For the fifth-seeded Vikings, it was trying to overcome some short term memory loss, while for Fort Mill, it was more about breaking through into the playoffs.
Just last week, the two teams met in their regular-season finale at Bob Jones Stadium, where the Jackets won, 3-1.
After playing the first 60 minutes scoreless, Spartanburg got an early shot attempt in the second half on a free kick, but pushed the ball wide left.
About 10 minutes later, Fort Mill got another foul called against them. This time Vikings junior Hannah Washko drilled a shot past freshman Fort Mill goalkeeper Samantha Whitley to put Spartanburg up 1-0.
Once the Vikings scored, they played better and started controlling the ball more. Defensively, Spartanburg started stacking the back line and crowding the penalty box.
However, Fort Mill finally got the break they were looking for with about 12 minutes left in the game as junior Cassidy Parker and Spartanburg keeper Oona MacDougall collided in the box setting up a penalty kick for Parker, who tied it at 1-1.
Just over a minute later, Parker got free down the left side of the field and sent a shot past MacDougall for the Jackets’ game winner.
The 14th-ranked Jackets, who were a No. 2 seed, came out slow to open the game, but so did Spartanburg. Neither team got an early advantage. Both squads got a shot on goal within the first 10 minutes of the match, but both MacDougall and Whitley were ready to make the stops.
Fort Mill controlled possession more than Spartanburg during the first half, keeping the ball on the Vikings’ side of the field. However, Spartanburg’s defense was strong enough to keep the Jackets just off balance.
Fort Mill kept peppering MacDougall, who saved all eight of the Jackets’ first-half shots. The majority of Fort Mill’s shots were right at MacDougall’s chest, giving her the perfect opportunity to cradle them.
Morris told his team at the half that wasn’t the way to play MacDougall.
“I told them to play more composed,” he said. “I said ‘Look for the big side goal, and put it away.’”
Despite getting the loss for Spartanburg, MacDougall had 16 saves in goal on 18 Fort Mill shots.
S – Hannah Washko, 63:07
FM – Cassidy Parker, 68:54
FM – Parker 70:00
Shots on goal: Spartanburg 3, Fort Mill 18.
Saves: Oona MacDougall (S) 16, Samantha Whitley (FM) 1.
Corner kicks: Spartanburg 0, Fort Mill 8.
Records: Spartanburg 7-9-0, Fort Mill 18-3-1.