Boy’s varsity soccer clinch playoff spot with win over Wolfpack


Michael Smith

The Warrior’s defense leads the way in their 2-0 win against North Paulding.

Michael Smith, Sports editor

The NC boy’s varsity soccer team clinched a playoff berth Tuesday night with a 2-0 victory over the visiting North Paulding Wolfpack. The victory, coupled with a McEachern loss, gave the Warriors a chance to travel down to Lowndes High School for the first round of the playoffs, despite a 3-7 region record.

NC grabbed an early lead in the first couple minutes of the game off of a North Paulding own-goal. Despite not scoring a goal until the final minutes of the second half, NC dominated possession, allowing the ball to cross midfield only one time from the 30 to the six minute mark. The defense played aggressively, pressing and pestering North Paulding’s players as soon as they touched the ball, quickly forcing turnovers and holding the ball within thirty yards of North Paulding’s goal.

North Paulding tried to force a couple contested shots at the end of the first half, but NC’s back line swarmed the Wolfpack on possession and senior goalkeeper Jonathan Jones made a few key saves to keep the visitors off the scoreboard and enter halftime with a 1-0 lead.

The second half’s possession did not show a clear-cut domination by NC. With only about a third as many shots on goal, the Warriors traded possessions around midfield more and did not create as many open opportunities for goals, their efforts impeded, at least in part, by a pair of overshot corners and shots that spun off target. Goalie Jorge Valdovinos also made key saves after checking in for Jones in the second half.

The Warriors clinched the game with 4:40 left, after a North Paulding hand ball inside the goalie box gave the Warriors a penalty kick, where Brian Morgan converted the shot in the left corner for the go-ahead goal.

NC will play its senior night Friday against the Kell Longhorns at 7:30 p.m.