Mustangs make early goal stand, slip past Wolverines

Published 11:37 am Tuesday, August 23, 2022

Polk County certainly played well enough Monday to collect its first win of the season.

But a momentary defensive lapse helped Smoky Mountain score a first-half goal that stood as the game-winner, the Mustangs taking a 1-0 victory at G.M. Tennant Stadium.

The Wolverines (0-2) thwarted every offensive surge from the Mustangs (2-0-1), especially in the opening 10 minutes when Smoky pressed forward on several occasions.

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But a first-half corner kick proved the deciding factor as Smoky Mountain’s EJ Rhoads found open space near the back post, took the corner and drilled a shot into the opposite corner of the goal for the only tally of the evening.

Polk had its scoring chances throughout the evening, but could never get a shot past Mustang senior goalkeeper Nathan Porter, who turned aside each Wolverine threat.

“Our effort was 100 percent better than the game before,” said Polk County head coach Matt Corn. “Everything we asked them to focus on and correct, they did. So we’re progressing, not regressing.

“We had more opportunities to score than they did, but we just couldn’t put one away. Just those final finishing shots, that’s all.”

Polk County hits the road Wednesday for the first time this season, traveling to Asheville School for a non-conference matchup at 6 p.m.