Falcons back in district final


Minford edges SW 2-0 in district semis

By Jacob Smith - jsmith@aimmediamidwest.com



Minford senior Zane Miller (22) gave the Falcons a 1-0 lead over South Webster during the second half of Tuesday’s Division III district semifinal match.

Minford senior Zane Miller (22) gave the Falcons a 1-0 lead over South Webster during the second half of Tuesday’s Division III district semifinal match.


Ed Litteral | Daily Times

Minford freshman Gavin Downey (21) scored the Falcons’ second goal of their 2-0 win over South Webster in a Division III district semifinal.


Ed Litteral | Daily Times

MINFORD — Minford and South Webster’s three meetings during the 2021 boys soccer season followed a pattern — one that was repeated when the two SOC II powers met on Tuesday in the Division III district semifinals.

The Falcons (17-1-0) outscored the Jeeps by a combined 5-0 in their two regular-season meetings, and came away with a 2-0 win — during their third and final match in Muletown on Tuesday.

The shutout victory pushes them into Saturday’s D-III district final, where they’ll meet Peebles — seeking the program’s first district title since 2011.

“We know South Webster very well as they know us the same,” Minford coach Jacob Hackworth said, afterwards. “All three matches this year were tough games and we didn’t expect anything less tonight. They’re very disciplined and well-coached.”

After each team went without a goal during the first half, Minford capitalized on a penalty-kick opportunity — when senior Zane Miller scored to give the Falcons a 1-0 lead with 34:12 left in the game.

Freshman Gavin Downey was the beneficiary of a Myles Montgomery assist with 12:16 to play, scoring to give Minford a 2-0 edge.

“Our gameplan was to start off fast and try to get an early goal. We weren’t able to do that and in my opinion, we were outplayed the first 40 minutes,” Hackworth said. “We were able to make a few adjustments, regroup and really stepped it up in the second half. We had a 10-2 shot advantage in the second half, and I’ll give a ton of credit to my guys for the effort and intensity they brought in the second half.”

South Webster coach Corey Claxon said that the penalty-kick opportunity for the Falcons helped shift momentum in their direction for the rest of the game.

“About five minutes into the second half, we gave up the PK goal and that really shifted the momentum. It wasn’t a smart choice to grab onto a player’s jersey, but our guys thought it was outside the penalty area,” Claxon said. “We continued to play hard, but we didn’t really challenge their keeper in the final offensive third. He did collect the ball quite a bit on throws and corners, but according to our stats, we never put a shot on goal.”

Minford took 16 shots in the game, seven of which were on goal.

The Jeeps had five shots over the 80-minute contest — and only one on goal.

South Webster’s season comes to an end with a 9-8-1 record, and its 13th consecutive appearance in the D-III district tournament.

The Jeeps will graduate seven seniors — Elijah Blake, Brody Boggs, Riley Cook, Sam Hanes, Kaleb Mantel, Dylan Meadows and Trae Zimmerman — whom Claxon acknowledged had been big contributors during their time with the program.

“It’s a tough realization after the game that we have to say goodbye to our seniors,” he said. “These guys put a lot of time into the program and they will be missed in a lot of different ways.”

The No. 1-seed in the Southeast District Division III tournament, the Falcons will face No. 13-seed Peebles on Saturday (Oct. 30) at noon at Waverly’s Raidiger Field.

For them to come away with the program’s first district title in a decade, Hackworth mentioned they’ll need to do something no other team has done going into Saturday’s district final.

“The mindset now is get back to the basics as we’ve done all year. We will be practicing some on turf in preparation for the speed of play that we will have Saturday at Waverly. Our coaches have done a great job this year of preparing for our opponents and this next game is no different. We are stressing effort and getting off to a fast start. Peebles hasn’t given up a goal in tournament play yet and we know we have a big task at hand. We are excited for the challenge and the opportunity to compete for a district championship.”

Minford senior Zane Miller (22) gave the Falcons a 1-0 lead over South Webster during the second half of Tuesday’s Division III district semifinal match.
https://www.portsmouth-dailytimes.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/28/2021/10/web1_Zane-Miller-_-Minford-SW-2.jpgMinford senior Zane Miller (22) gave the Falcons a 1-0 lead over South Webster during the second half of Tuesday’s Division III district semifinal match. Ed Litteral | Daily Times

Minford freshman Gavin Downey (21) scored the Falcons’ second goal of their 2-0 win over South Webster in a Division III district semifinal.
https://www.portsmouth-dailytimes.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/28/2021/10/web1_Gavin-Downey-_-Minford-SW-2.jpgMinford freshman Gavin Downey (21) scored the Falcons’ second goal of their 2-0 win over South Webster in a Division III district semifinal. Ed Litteral | Daily Times
Minford edges SW 2-0 in district semis

By Jacob Smith

jsmith@aimmediamidwest.com

Reach Jacob Smith at (740) 370-0713 ext. 1930, by email at jsmith@aimmediamidwest.com, or on Twitter @JacobSmithPDT © 2021 Portsmouth Daily Times, all rights reserved

Reach Jacob Smith at (740) 370-0713 ext. 1930, by email at jsmith@aimmediamidwest.com, or on Twitter @JacobSmithPDT © 2021 Portsmouth Daily Times, all rights reserved