It’s easy to ascertain from a final score that one team was dominant over another.
It takes the game being broken down, however, to be able to safely say that a team completely dominated its opponent.
Such is the case in North Hall’s 6-0 first round state playoff win against Region 8-AAA’s Eastside.
The Lady Trojans defense was impenetrable, only allowing two shots on goal by Eastside, the first coming in the 19th minute of the second half.
“Our defense has really picked it up this season,” North Hall coach Nathan Wallace said. “That’s where we start, we build up from the back and go and we know that’s how we’re going to win.”
North Hall’s offense was just as good, getting off 34 total shots, 17 on goal, en route to a dominating win Tuesday night at North Hall High.
Sophomore Tess Patton led the way for the offense scoring four goals, Allie Wright and Ally Souther added one each.
Leading the way for North Hall’s defense was Emily Smith, Taylor Knight and Bradee Burrell whose physicality and spot-on clears essentially gave senior goalkeeper and Columbus State University signee Mary Mancin a night off.
“(Mancin) is the most focused person on the team regardless of the situation,” Wallace said. “Whether she’s getting balls or not getting balls we know she’s ready for whatever comes her way.”
And Mancin was, recording a save on the only shot that came her way to help her team earn its ninth shutout of the season and eighth in the last nine games.
The Lady Trojans’ offense got going early and often, leaving little doubt as to their focus.
Patton’s scored first nine minutes into the game when she settled a pass from Taylor Knight, crossed from her left to right foot and struck it from 10-yards out and past Eastside goalkeeper Kayla Jones.
North Hall’s second goal came just a minute later when Wright dribbled up the left side and stopped on a dime to avoid her defender and kick the ball under the goalie.
“With the heat being the way it was, the first two goals were a bit of a breather for us,” Wallace said.
North Hall ended the first half up 3-0 thanks to a heads-up play by Souther.
With four minutes remaining in the first half, Souther jumped on a defensive miscue by the Lady Eagles, stealing the ball from a defender inside the box and shooting past the outstretched arms of Jones.
North Hall started the second half just as strong as it had the first. Patton, off a pass from senior Julia Matthews, scored just a minute and half into the second 20 minutes. She recorded her third goal of the game eight minutes later, off a pass form Wright,
when she shot a laser from 20-yards out that literally went through the keeper’s hands.
Patton’s third goal of the second half, and fourth of the game was arguably her most impressive.
North Hall caught Eastside’s defense offguard as Julia Matthews, who was taking a corner kick, tapped the ball to Patton who took two dribbles and struck it with her left foot. The ball reached the left corner of the goal before the Lady Eagles’ defense
“(Patton) is our midfield general and leading assist player,” Wallace said. “She’s a very dominant scorer and we put her (at forward) after our second score because we wanted to put the game away.”
With the win, the Lady Trojans move on to the second round of the state tournament where they will face the winner of the Druid
Hills/Cartersville matchup Tuesday at North Hall High.