With a commanding performance, the Nation Ford boys’ soccer team shutout the Chapin Eagles with a 3-0 win.
The non-region match-up put two schools with identical 11-2 records against each other. It also put two top 12 teams in the state facing off as the Falcons are currently ranked fourth, and Chapin is ranked 11th overall. With the win, Nation Ford enters spring break at 12-2 on the season.
A lot of back-and-forth took place in the early going between the two teams with each trying to establish some control over the other. Nation Ford cracked the board first on a free kick as senior Steven Halas put the ball in the back of the goal about eight minutes into the game. Less than two minutes later, Andrew Meachum launched the ball from the right side of the field on another long goal which went in over the Chapin keepers’ head to put the Falcons up 2-0.
As impressive as those back-to-back goals were, the Nation Ford defense was just as strong on the other end of the field as the Falcons battled out of some situations in the Chapin box where they were able to clear the ball out and prevent a goal.
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“They have been air tight this year,” said Nation Ford head coach Jon Jarrett, on his defense. “We don’t give up very many easy shots. My guys fly to the ball pretty well. The boys play with heart and play together.”
Chapin got a couple of free kicks of their own midway through the first half with the Nation Ford defense coming up big each time not allowing it passed the front line. Beside the defense, Falcons’ keeper Ryan Halas played well in the first half with two big saves.
The second half saw Nation Ford’s defense continue its strong support as Chapin controlled the first four minutes which resulted in three shots on goal, all of which were deflected out of the box.
Offensively Nation Ford wasn’t as potent in the second half as they struggled to find a rhythm. As the game wore on, Chapin seemed to get chippy with the Falcons and started to get several yellow cards.
The over aggressive play didn’t help Chapin’s performance as Nation Ford would add a third goal with about 16 minutes left as Josue Garcia would score off a rebounded shot giving the Falcons a commanding lead.
Once spring break is over, Nation Ford will have two important Region IV matches against Fort Mill and Clover, both at home for the Falcons.
Mac Banks: email@example.com, @MacBanksFM