Two top-10 S.C. girls’ soccer teams battled Friday night in a clash of crosstown rivals.
Fort Mill, ranked No. 7 in the state, and Nation Ford, at No. 8, competed for the second time this season, with the Jackets getting the season sweep after winning 2-0 and staying undefeated in Region III-AAAA.
Coming into the game, Nation Ford’s only loss in the region came against Fort Mill earlier this season.
“It’s the best game we played all season,” said Nation Ford head coach Caitlyn Bagwell.
“I am very proud of how our girls played. I think after the penalty kick, it took the wind out of our sails.”
The Jackets started the second half controlling possession during the first five minutes. Sophomore Meredith Christopher got a breakaway and was tripped when going for a goal, setting up a penalty kick that she made cleanly to put Fort Mill up 2-0.
“This was a tough week for us,” said Fort Mill head coach Chris Quinn. “We are down to 15 players and had to have a lot of our reserves pick up the slack.”
Nation Ford struggled to generate any offense.
Fort Mill was able to maintain momentum and kept pressure on the Falcons’ defense. With time ticking down, Nation Ford was able to gain more opportunities to control possession.
Falcons keeper Mary Patterson performed well in goal even as Fort Mill was able to get more shots in the second half.
Both teams went on the attack early as they traded shot attempts in the first three minutes of the game.
Fort Mill got its second shot on goal about seven minutes into the game, as sophomore Erin Wolfe sailed a shot just right.
Despite the attempts, neither team was able to gain an early advantage. Nation Ford got its first corner kick about 14 minutes into the game, but the Jackets’ defense was able to get it out of the box quickly.
Nation Ford stayed on the attack and started to control possession more, which resulted in a couple more corner kicks but without any points to show for it.
Fort Mill finally caught a break as sophomore Erin Wolfe got a ball down the left side of the field, faked a Falcons defender and launched the ball just over the outstretched hands of Patterson to give the Jackets the lead.