Extending its win streak to eight straight, the Nation Ford boys soccer team shutout Clover 1-0 to remain undefeated in Region IV play with a perfect 5-0 record.
The first meeting between the two schools saw Nation Ford grab the win with a 3-0 shutout at Memorial Stadium in Clover. The Blue Eagles came in looking for some revenge and to give Nation Ford its first Region IV loss of the season. That didn’t happen as the Falcons are now 14-2 overall on the year.
“I knew it was going to be much tougher (the second time around),” said Nation Ford head coach Jon Jarrett. “They out played us as far as possessions, but we met their energy. Our work isn’t done yet. We still have three region games left. I am beyond proud of these guys.”
After a scoreless first half, Clover came out kicking and took a shot in the early going again, only for the Falcons’ defense to stop the attack. Unlike the first half in which Clover seemed to control possessions more, both teams were even to start the second.
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A crucial mistake about eight minutes into the second half saw Nation Ford get a penalty shot with Curtis Johnson scoring for the Falcons giving them the 1-0 edge. Clover came back to start controlling possession again with two free kicks both missing the mark in trying to tie the game with 25 minutes left in the game.
The Blue Eagles started pressing for a goal and playing from behind with less fluidity than they had earlier in the game as they scrambled for a goal that seemed harder and harder to come by. That game tying goal never came.
Nation Ford attacked the Clover defense in the early going of the first halfand got several good looks at the goal, but wasn’t able to convert. The Blue Eagles had their attempts as well, but the Falcons’ defense was alert and ready.
Neither team was able to establish any advantage over the other as they both seemed evenly matched in the early going. Clover had an early free kick about the 10 minute mark in the first half, but Nation Ford keeper Ryan Halas was able to easily deflect the shot away from the goal. Halas would also defend a header attempt about three minutes later two stall Clover’s momentum.
The Blue Eagles were strong for the majority of the first half controlling possession more and more as the half wore on. During that time they got off several shot attempts with the help of corner kicks, but struggled to get the ball past the Falcons’ back line.
In the final 10 minutes of the first half, Nation Ford picked up more possessions, but the Blue Eagles defense kept the ball cleared out of the middle of the field not allowing them to get a good look at the goal.
Coming up for Nation Ford is a game at Rock Hill and they will then host Northwestern April 20.
Mac Banks: email@example.com, @MacBanksFM