On a clear, sunny, March 10th Tuesday evening, the North Cobb Varsity Girls Soccer team visited neighboring rivals, Kennesaw Mountain. Both teams were looking for their first region win. Coached by Justin Buckles, the North Cobb Warriors were coming off several close losses. On the Mustang side, Coach Kevin Williams was preparing his team to defend their turf and defeat the incoming Warriors.
The pregame festivities included Kennesaw Mountain’s faculty appreciation night, in which each Mustang player was accompanied by their favorite teacher to midfield, expressing their appreciation for all of their hard work. Following the introduction of players and staff, captains gathered with the referee to shake hands and discuss the game’s expectations. Just as the sun began to dip below the remaining clouds, the whistle was blown, and the game got underway.
The game remained deadlocked at 0-0 for the first 8 minutes, as both teams struggled to hold possession and find scoring opportunities. However, the Mustangs changed that after Gigi Espinosa began the night’s scoring off an assist by Kendall Colenbaugh and Ally Burns. For Colenbaugh, a senior captain, this was her first action since tearing her ACL last May.
With the Mustangs up 1-0, they kept the pressure on the Warriors. Only two minutes after the first goal, Ally Burns found the back of the net, thanks in part to the assist from her sister, Ashley Burns. The Mustangs had now extended their lead to 2-0. With 17:40 left in the first half, the Mustangs were threatening again, but came up short of a goal following a save from North Cobb’s goalkeeper, Reagan Schooler.
The teams exited the field and entered halftime with the Mustangs leading the Warriors 3-0, after Nadia Corey’s first career goal was scored via a corner kick from teammate Ashley Burns. Following the ten-minute period of rest, the teams ran back onto the field, ready to attack the final 35-minute period. The Mustangs continued their success in the 2nd half, adding another 3 to the score. The goals were scored by Ashley Burns, Ally Burns, and Gigi Espinosa. Both Gigi Espinosa and Ally Burns finished the contest with two goals each.
Following the 6-0 region victory, Coach Kevin Williams said “Tonight was a really good win. It was great to get Kendall back from injury for the first time since May. We found good shots early and gained control as we continued to apply pressure. Now it’s time to look forward to Friday’s big game against North Paulding.”
Both team’s next contest will be on Friday the 13th in a region matchup as the Mustangs travel to play the North Paulding Wolfpack, and the Warriors host the McEachern Indians.