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North Hall boys soccer holds off East Hall in crucial region battle
Shows' second-half goal lifts Trojans to win
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North Hall’s Jake Carter sends East Hall's Eric Medel flying while trying to tackle him Tuesday night at East Hall Stadium. - photo by Nat Gurley | The Times

The North Hall boys soccer team didn’t let heavy winds throw off its game plan in a key Region 7-AAA matchup against East Hall.

Instead, the Trojans used the elements to their advantage.

Hunter Carter and Tyler Shows each scored a long-range goal, and ninth-ranked North Hall knocked off the fifth-ranked Vikings 2-1 on Tuesday at East Hall Stadium.

Shows’ go-ahead goal off a free kick in the 44th minute took an odd spin while it sailed towards net from about 50 yards out, as the wind arced the ball high then seemingly dropped it just out of the reach of East Hall goalkeeper Emmanuel Andrade. It was enough to lift North Hall (8-2-1, 4-1 Region 7-AAA), which held East Hall scoreless for the final 73 minutes of the game.

“I was aiming for the goal, but it got caught up,” Shows said. “I had the wind on my side to help me out there.”

With a little help from the elements, the Trojans expanded their winning streak to six games, remaining competitive with East Hall (5-2-3, 2-1), West Hall and Dawson County atop the Region 7-AAA standings.

The Trojans visit Dawson County on Friday for another contest that could potentially map out the region’s top four teams.

“We’re still in control of our own destiny,” Lillie said. “If we win out, we’re region champs.

“The region is going to be close. It always is every year. A year ago, the last game of the year determined who was going to be first and who was going to be fourth.”

The opening minute of the game looked nothing like a battle between a pair of state-ranked squads, as the Trojans wasted no time getting on the scoreboard.

Carter stunned East Hall just 30 seconds off the whistle, firing a shot from outside the box and piercing the top left corner for an early North Hall lead.

“It was a great service ball to his feet, and he just turned and ripped it,” Lillie said. “It was beautiful.”

The Vikings didn’t let the early goal derail their game, and they countered six minutes later with Leo Toledo’s tally on a Trojan miscue to tie the game 1-1.

Toledo managed to dislodge the ball from North Hall goalkeeper Abraham Elias, who was preparing to clear the ball out of the zone, and tapped it into the open net.

“One keeper mistake deserves another,” Lillie said. “Rule number one with the keeper is that you never play the ball back across the face of the goal. That was the mistake we made tonight.”

The two teams played even for the rest of the half before Shows’ goal put North Hall back ahead by one early in the second half.

Amidst a late offensive surge by East Hall, Carter missed an opportunity to put the Trojans up by two with six minutes remaining when his penalty kick was stopped by Andrade.

Nevertheless, North Hall’s defense staved off the Vikings’ attackers the rest of the way.

“We performed very well, but I think there’s always room for improvement,” Shows said. “I just think we took advantage of our situation.”

Tristian Bailey unloaded six goals as the Lady Trojans cruised past the Lady Vikings on Tuesday.

Bailey scored two goals in the first half, then scored four more in a 12-minute span as North Hall (4-6-1, 3-2) ended the game 19 minutes early via the mercy rule.

Morgan Land, Katie Estrada, Bekah Stephens and Alden Powell also scored for the Lady Trojans.

North Hall scored six goals in the second half.

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