By Diana Lewis
For The Times
East Hall’s chance at a region title fell just short, but the Vikings refused to be discouraged after the 2-1 loss to Greater Atlanta Christian on Friday for the Region 7-3A championship.
“I think we played well, it just didn’t go in the back of the net for us” East Hall coach Chris Horton said. “They have great defenders and we struggled to connect in the final third the way we usually do.”
The loss doesn’t deter from the Vikings’ main goal, which is winning a state championship next month.
“A ring matters more than a region title” East Hall’s Sergio Turcios said. “We have to stay focused and not let tonight’s result affect us.”
Fresh off a 10-goal win earlier this week against Banks County, East Hall (12-2-1, 4-1 Region 7-3A) defender David Menchaca found the back of the net off a deflected shot from Maury Ibarra, giving East Hall a 1-0 lead midway through the second half.
East Hall’s confidence lacked in the first half, keeping the ball on their half of the field and trying to formulate an attack from the back. After halftime, the Spartans (13-3, 5-0) had a much different approach, playing directly and perfectly executing their set pieces which resulted in two offside goals.
Although possession favored the Vikings, the Spartans fought and scored off a corner kick and again 10 minutes later when a Spartans forward tore through East Hall defenders for the winning shot with four minutes left in the match.
In the girls’ game, East Hall lost 9-0.
On Tuesday, East Hall hosts Dawson County at Vikings Stadium.