Johnson’s Chris Henry didn’t hesitate when asked which goal was more weird; his first one when he scored on a throw-in or his second when he bounced the ball off his teammate’s face and scored on a shot from 30 yards out.
“The first was definitely more weird because it’s never happened before,” Henry said. “But I liked the second one more because it was a nice shot. The first one was kind of cheap.”
Cheap or not, the throw-in that bounced off East Hall’s keeper and into the net, started a barrage of scoring that ended in a 5-0 win for the Knights (5-2, 2-1 Area 7-AAA).
Henry’s first goal came just four minutes into the game, and was quickly followed by goals from Vicente Trujillo and Juan Morfin. Not even 10 minutes had gone by and the Knights were up 3-0.
“We needed to get out quick because we were trying to bounce back from a disappointing loss to West Forsyth,” Johnson coach Brian Shirley said referring to the Knights’ 2-0 loss to the Wolverines on Tuesday. “We couldn’t finish anything in that game.”
That wasn’t the case against East Hall (1-3, 1-3), as Johnson scored three times in the first half on just four shot attempts.
The shot that didn’t go in came close, as Henry fired a free kick from 25 yards out that hit the bottom of the crossbar, bounced on the end line but failed to go in the net.
East Hall nearly cut the deficit to two goals when Ricardo Vieyra had a close scoring opportunity but Johnson goalie Alan Garcia came up with the save. Garcia finished with three saves.
The game became more physical in the second half as East Hall was called for eight fouls and had yellow cards handed out to three different players. Johnson had two players receive yellow cards in a game that featured eight yellow cards and one red.
While neither team played dirty, Shirley was proud of how his team reacted to the physical play.
“Our guys play with class,” he said. “We make an occasional mistake, but that’s to be expected.”
The Knights scoring again was also to be expected.
After two long-distance shots by Henry were saved by East Hall’s Jonathan Rios, Rigoberto Mojica found Carlos Casas who fired a left-footed shot into the top-left corner of the goal.
Less than two minutes later, Henry took the ball at midfield, inadvertently flicked it off of Morfin’s face and when the ball landed back on his foot, the junior midfielder took a shot and scored from 30-yards out.
Those two goals overshadowed the great night in goal by Rios, who made seven saves in the second half.
“This is a great builder to come back to a home stand after we’ve been on the road for five games,” Shirley said.
Johnson plays host to Creekview at 7:30 p.m. Monday. East Hall plays host to West Forsyth at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday.
Johnson girls 3, East Hall 2
Bethany Johnson did it all for the Lady Knights on Thursday at East Hall.
After seeing her team down 1-0, Johnson tied the game at 1-1 in the first half and then tied the game back up at 2-2 in the second.
Her third goal was the most important as it broke the tie and sent Johnson (5-1, 2-1 Area 7-AAA) back to Oakwood with a win.
But scoring goals wasn’t all she did.
Seconds after her game-winning goal, Johnson moved from her forward position to goalkeeper where she preserved the win.
“We had to put her back there because everyone was injured,” Lady Knights coach Elaine Dunahoo said.
The Lady Knights’ faced an early 1-0 deficit after a goal by East Hall’s Patricia Castrejon. East Hall (0-4, 0-4) regained the lead in the second half on a free-kick goal by Christina Davis.
But the Lady Vikings had no answer for Johnson, who scored the game-tying goal with 13:17 left to play and the game-winner less than three minutes after.
Johnson plays host to Creekview at 5:30 p.m. Monday. East Hall plays host to West Forsyth at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday.