On a hazy night due to local wildfires nearby, the only thing hotter was the frenzied play of the Nation Ford Falcons soccer team as they shutout the Northwestern Trojans 1-0 to get their second Region IV win of the season.
Nation Ford got two early looks at the Trojans goal, but couldn't convert on some good opportunities. The Falcons were able to control the pace early, keeping the ball on the Northwestern half of the field the majority of time.
About seven minutes into the game, Nation Ford struck, scoring on a breakaway by Angela Cipriano to put the Falcons up 1-0. The Trojans' took their first real attempt at a shot about 14 minutes into the game, but Falcons' keeper Issy Dyckes was on point and quickly stopped the attempt.
The Trojans were able to pick up more touches, but struggled to keep any momentum going their way. Nation Ford was able to regain control and rattled off several shot attempts, but couldn't get the looks that had presented themselves so well in the early going. One of their shots even hit the side post and deflected into a scrum of Falcons players, but they couldn't convert.
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Both teams got some early looks at goal to start the second half, but only the Falcons were able to get a decent shot off on two occasions, which was stopped by the Trojans' keeper both times.
Nation Ford controlled the middle of the field in the early part of the second half, but despite their attempts, couldn't score within the first 10 minutes.
Things didn't get much better in the second 10 minutes of the second half for Nation Ford, as they continued to pepper the Trojans’ keeper, who had five saves in that 20 minute period. Despite this, the Falcons were able defensively to hold Northwestern off in the second half rarely letting them get any good looks at the goal.
The biggest point in the game came on the only goal by Cipriano in the early minutes of the game. Despite the lone goal, Falcons’ head coach Megan Williams said her team played well with the opportunities they were given.
“We created a lot of chances,” Williams said. “I feel confident in where we are now with two big region wins under us.”
Without the multiple attempts and controlling of possession, it’s unsure if the Falcons would have been as fortunate in scoring due to the play of Northwestern’s defense in goal. The multiple stops by Northwestern made the game a lot closer than it seemed.
Cipriano scored the only goal for the Falcons in the first half and Dyckes made good strops in the game when Northwestern took their shots attempts, which were few and far between.
Nation Ford participates in the Crescent Cup next week and returns home against rivals Fort Mill April 4.
Nation Ford 1, Northwestern 0
Nation Ford 1;0;-1
NF - Angela Cipriano, 7:17
Nation Ford 5-3-1; Northwestern 3-5-1.