Carrollton High School’s soccer teams faced off against Harris County on Wednesday, the teams’ next to last home games before the start of state playoffs.
The girls’ team fought back to tie the game 1-1 after trailing for over 40 game minutes, but two late Harris County goals sealed the Trojans’ fate in a 3-1 loss.
The boys’ team, on the other hand, took an early lead and went up 4-1 before the half. With both teams going scoreless in the second period, the Trojans added a win to even their record at 6-6-1.
Carrollton seemed to be in control to start the action and kept the ball in their offensive third for the majority of the first five minutes of play. The Trojans had two shots on goal within the first minute of play, and added another near the 36-minute mark. Harris County did not gain momentum until the 35-minute mark, which started a long series of shots on goal by the Lady Tigers.
Carrollton goalkeeper Kameron Ebensberger had five different saves in this stretch. This was before the Tigers finally found the net on a shot nearly parallel to the goal line by Reese Wise, putting Harris County up 1-0 with 19:44 left to play in the first half. That score remained on the board at halftime and beyond until Carrollton put themselves into scoring position once again at the 21-minute mark of the second half.
After several near misses in the first half and beyond, Carrollton’s Kylie Briscoe notched the Trojans’ first goal with a deep shot from roughly 35 yards out, tying the game at 1-1 with 16 minutes left to play.
Just as it seemed the game might end on a draw, Harris County’s offense came alive in the final seven minutes. Riley Markert sunk a deep 30-yard goal with 7:14 on the clock, and Reese Wise delivered the final heartbreaker in front of the goal.
Carrollton’s boys took an early lead in the first half and benefitted from a brace by Freddy Perez for the three-goal win. There were several close calls for the Trojans in the second half on near goals by the Tigers, including two goals that were negated by close offsides penalties and another shot that nearly crossed the goal line but was ruled short.
The Trojans had strong goalie play from three different players all game long. Freshman AJ Brown manned the goal for the first half and had three saves, and Edelis Varela and Fernando Nunez split the second-half shutout for the Trojans.
After a fast-paced start, Perez put the Trojans on the board with 32:43 on the first half clock, knocking back a free kick in front of the goal after Jefferson Hernandez was fouled.
Hernandez scored Carrollton’s next goal several minutes later, driving in for a shot off a long pass by Carlos Hernandez, making the Trojan lead 2-0 with 16:46 left in the first period. Harris County responded moments after that goal, however, as Zach Madrigal hit a long shot into the mouth of the goal on an assist by Aidan Collins.
Carrollton’s third goal of the night was a bit out of the ordinary, as a free-kick header was seemingly saved, but in a mass of players near the goal, the ball fell in for the score at the eight-minute mark before the half.
Perez capped off Carrollton’s big first half in a similar fashion, this time tapping in a dropped save off a free kick with 3:30 on the clock, and this score stuck for the rest of the game.
Carrollton’s soccer clubs will close the regular season at home against Cedartown this Friday and at Alexander next Thursday. The girls team (4-11-1, 1-3) ended region play in fifth place, while the boys team (6-6-1, 2-2) is currently in third.