FORT MILL — The third-ranked Fort Mill Yellow Jackets continued winning as they beat Mauldin 3-1 in the first round of the 4A state girls’ soccer playoffs.
The Jackets have cruised through the regular season losing just once in 20 games and having not been scored on since April 1 – a nine-game stretch. They have allowed only four goals all season, two of those to Mauldin.
Previously, Fort Mill saw Mauldin in the first game of the season, winning 2-1 in the Viking Cup.
Mauldin broke the Jackets nine-game stretch without allowing a goal as they scored with about 2:30 left in the game. Fort Mill head coach Ryan Morris wasn’t pleased with his team’s second half performance.
“That is unacceptable,” Morris said. “We played down to their level. We didn’t stay up. We have got to stay focused for 80 plus minutes.”
Fort Mill will now play the winner of the Hillcrest-Blythewood match on Wednesday at Bob Jones Stadium.
The Jackets came out the aggressor and got a quick shot off about four minutes into the game. However, Mauldin keeper Sydney Shaw was on her game and made the stop.
Fort Mill stayed on offense early, but Mauldin stacked the box with several players until senior Baily Rich found junior Graydon Nall for the Jackets first goal of the game.
Mauldin got its first shot on goal about seven minutes later, but Jackets’ keeper Samantha Whitley made a key save deflecting it at the top of her leap away from the goal.
Both teams seemed to volley possession back-and-forth for the next several minutes, with neither gaining control.
Fort Mill finally got the control it needed with some smooth passing down the middle of the field as senior Cassidy Parker found sophomore Alyssa Smith as they knocked it off of Shaw to give the Jackets their second goal of the game.
The Jackets would add another goal with about 12 minutes left in the first half as freshman Kimber Haley found Parker on the left side of the field to get a shot to dribble into the goal.
Fort Mill stayed on the offensive attack for the majority of the first half, not allowing the Mavs to really have any real chance at possession.
Mauldin did get one more shot on goal with about two minutes left in the first half, but Whitley again made a leaping save.
In the second half, both teams batted the ball around trying to gain some control of things. Fort Mill stayed the aggressor on offense as Mauldin failed to hang with a fast paced Jackets offense.
Fort Mill cut off passing lanes and pressured the ball well against the Mavs throughout the entire game.
The Jackets got off a couple shots on goal within the first 10 minutes of the second half, but wasn’t able to convert.
With about 2:30 left in the game, Mauldin’s Angela Possidente scored for the Mavs accounting for their lone goal of the game.
Fort Mill 3, Mauldin 1
FM – Graydon Nall, 7:24
FM – Alyssa Smith, 19:51
FM – Cassidy Parker, 28:35
M – Angela Possidente, 78:30
Shots on goal: Mauldin 3, Fort Mill 8
Saves: Sydney Shaw (M) 5, Samantha Whitley (FM) 2
Corner kicks: Mauldin 0, Fort Mill 6
Records: Mauldin 9-11-0, Fort Mill 19-1-1.