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Comets hold off Bulldogs for eighth win of season

Tylisia Crews and Mikeala Skelton scored first-half goals, and the Halifax County High School varsity girls soccer team held off a Martinsville push in the second half to claim a 2-1 win Thursday night at Tuck Dillard Memorial Stadium.

 

Crews scored the first goal of the game at the 15-minute mark of the first half after Logan Holmes split two defenders and penetrated the box before passing the ball to her.

Three minutes later Mikeala Skelton got loose on a run down the left side and blasted a shot past the Bulldog keeper to make it 2-0.

The Bulldogs scored on a breakaway 20 minutes into the second half, and they came close to scoring a game-tying goal on several other occasions.

They were turned away each time, with Halifax keeper Amanda Webb denying the Bulldogs on one occasion when she came out of goal and got a hand on a Martinsville shot attempt that was headed to the back of the Halifax net.

Halifax County (8-2-1) finished with 29 shots on goal, the majority coming in the first half, and the majority of Martinsville’s 23 shots on goal came after intermission, when they moved some of their faster players forward to press the attack.

Those efforts came up just short, with Comets’ keeper Amanda Webb turning away 18 shots, compared to 12 for the Bulldogs’ keeper, and Halifax County led in corner kicks 4-1 and indirect kicks 5-0.

The Bulldogs had two direct kicks compared to one for the Comets, in a game where Halifax had to scramble in the waning minutes to hold off the Bulldogs.

Halifax was sharp on offense in the first half, but Martinsville adjusted to make the game a lot tighter after intermission, according to Comets Head Coach Sid Young.

“The thing that concerned us was we weren’t trapping well and the ball was running by us,” said Young.

Halifax did score two goals in the first half, and they did a better job with trapping in the second half, but the Bulldogs made adjustments to take better advantage of their team speed in the second half, Young explained.

“They changed up a little bit what they were doing, moving some defenders forward to take advantage of their speed, and they came close a couple of times,” Young added.

Webb’s performance in goal subbing for injured starting keeper Jasmyne Crawley has been a key to the Comets’ success the past two games, Young noted.

“Amanda has played only three or four games at keeper this year, and that takes away a good field player with foot skills, but we felt like the way we played the first half if we had played that way the second half we would have scored again,” said Young.

The veteran coach gave a nod to assistant Mat Robinson, Comets jayvee girl’s head coach who has played a key role in the team’s success this year.

“Stephanie’s (Stephanie Robinson) has always done a good job for us, and Mat’s been a good addition for us this year,” said Young.