Leading both the girls and boys matches by one goal at the half, the Frederica soccer teams closed out in the second halves and completed a sweep of Brunswick High School Tuesday night, 4-1 in the girls match followed by 2-1 in the boys match.
The first approximately 20 minutes of the Lady Knights’ match with the Lady Pirates was hard-fought and scoreless. Frederica kept Brunswick’s back line and keeper Gracie Trueluck busy. Frederica finally found the net in the 17th minute when Curran Squire gave the Lady Knights a 1-0 lead.
With just over three minutes left in the half, Anna Meredith started her hat trick with a shot from a difficult angle that arched over the Brunswick goalkeeper to give Frederica a 2-0 lead.
Brunswick’s answer came with just under two minutes left. Striker Adiah Bailey had been pressuring the Lady Knights’ defense for most of the first half, but she finally ripped a shot into the upper 90 and past the keeper at the 39th minute.
In the second half, Meredith’s speed was too much for Brunswick’s defense. Eight minutes into the second half, she put home a goal with a strong step just past the Brunswick keeper who was diving toward her to snare the ball. In the 15th minute of the second half, Meredith timed a run off a pass perfectly to sneak past the back line for a breakaway goal to complete the hat trick.
“I think (the win) helps boost our confidence,” Meredith said. “It will help us a lot to feel what the rest of the season is going to be like.”
Meredith left the game after suffering an injury to her leg from a kick that struck her above the heel near her calf. She didn’t walk on her leg after the game, but was able to stand on it when stationary.
Tuesday was the first official win of Frederica’s season, after suffering an 11-1 loss to Johns Creek in their first Tournament of Champions match Friday and 9-2 in the second match against Rome Saturday.
For the Lady Knights to top a team like Brunswick, which is in midseason form, was a positive step for coach Alex Flores.
“(T.O.C.) didn’t end the way wanted to, but we fought hard with a depleted lineup,” Flores said. “This was a big game, especially having everyone back. It was a great way to get our season underway.”
Boys’ head coach Tim O’Sullivan was less impressed with his team’s patience in the nightcap.
The Knights benefited from an early goal by Jake Myers in the seventh minute. Myers ripped a shot onto the top shelf from just inside the 18-yard box. O’Sullivan said those early minutes were up to par with the pace of play he expected from his squad. In the minutes that followed, however, he was concerned with his team’s impatient offense. The Knights were silent until there were 11 minutes remaining in the game.
“As young players, we got impatient and thought we could do it in one pass, and we’re a possession-oriented team,” O’Sullivan said. “I asked the guys on the bench to count how many consecutive passes we made, and for a stretch of 25 minutes, two was the highest we would get.”
Brunswick had a handful of chances, using its speed and athleticism to outmatch the Frederica back line, but there were often a battalion of Knights around the Pirate ball handler as he pressed toward the goal. Tyrese Dixon finally broke through in the 24th minute of the second half when he put home a breakaway goal past the diving Frederica goalkeeper, John Mitchell Brock.
“We’ve been trying a new formation,” said Brunswick head coach Daniel Szokoly. “They played well, it took them 10 or 15 minutes to get the hang of it … I can’t complain, there were just little errors.”
Frederica rallied, though, and retook the lead roughly five minutes later. It was Myers again, playing a pass from Coleman White, effectively icing the game for Frederica.
“My brother, Colton (Myers), played it and he slotted it to Colton White and he slotted me through on a cheeky pass and I finished,” Jake Myers said.
Temperatures hovered in the mid to low 50s Tuesday night, and Jake Myers called the game a “different environment,” but was satisfied with his team’s ability to come out with the win.
Frederica is 2-1 on the season, originally set to host Effingham County Thursday. That game is in question, however, in light of Glynn Academy’s Tuesday night cancellation with Effingham when no referees arrived on site to officiate the matches.