After pea size hail and a torrential downpour postponed a match-up between two top 10 ranked teams in the state, Fort Mill and the Northwestern Trojans squared off at Bob Jones Stadium with the Trojans coming away with a 2-0 win.
The Trojans scored goals in each half to get the win last Tuesday night, as the Jackets struggled to create the openings they needed to score. The Jackets are now 4-3-0 on the season.
Fort Mill came into the game ranked No. 9 in the state, while the Trojans were ranked No. 4 in the latest state polls. The opening minutes found both squads trying to establish control of possession, but neither could make that happen. Each team volleyed for control, but only traded the ball back and forth.
Northwestern got the first solid look at the goal about five minutes into the match, but sent the shot attempt sailing over the goal. Both teams took an aggressive approach to their style of play looking for lanes to find a seam and score from. Fort Mill did have a clear look on goal about 10 minutes into the match, but a cross to the middle failed to get the results they were hoping for as the Trojans cleared the ball out of the box.
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Fort Mill saw another shot attempt 15 minutes into the game after breaking through the Northwestern defense only to see the ball go off the top of the crossbar and bounce back into the field of play. The Jackets contended possession for several minutes from that point on, but couldn’t crack the Trojans’ defense as they would be double teamed on several ground balls.
“We just didn’t finish in the first half,” said Fort Mill head coach Phillip McCarter, who is in his first year with the team. “You get behind and you start chasing the game. They are a good and fast team and we are starting a new system. We can’t expect to be in the same place in a month as they are in four years.”
Northwestern would get the opportunities as well on offense midway through the first half, but couldn’t capitalize on them despite multiple corner kicks. The Trojans would finally break through after attacking the goal as Nic Barnosky would score at the 24 minute mark to put the visiting Northwestern up 1-0.
Both squads would batter the ball around for the remainder of the first half, but could never seem to find an opening for a goal. The second half started much like the first with both teams trying to establish some momentum.
Northwestern would add to their lead eight minutes into play as they scored their second goal of the game, this time from Ransome Smith, to go up 2-0 and put Fort Mill in a hole they wouldn’t be able to dig out of. Despite their efforts, Fort Mill never seemed to be able to put things together in the second half to get on the scoreboard.
Fort Mill will now head on the road to Chapin and then host Rock Hill this week at Bob Jones Stadium.
Mac Banks: firstname.lastname@example.org, @MacBanksFM