WILLIAMSTON – Brent Sorg wasn’t too pleased with his team’s first-half performance on Wednesday night.
But he was more than pleased with what his team showed in the final 40 minutes.
The Williamston Hornets scored five second-half goals on their way to defeating Sexton, 6-0, in a weather-delayed Division 3 district semifinals match.
“They responded. That’s what you want,” said Sorg, whose team scored one goal in the first half and had difficulty maneuvering in the attacking third. “We know that we’re a good side, but can you make those adjustments that are necessary to have success?
“Credit to Sexton. They battled. They made it extremely difficult for us in the first half and I think guys were frustrated. You got to learn from that.”
Williamston will look to capture its fifth consecutive district championship on Friday when it battles CAAC White rival Lansing Catholic. The Hornets won the only meeting between the two teams this year, 1-0, and senior Zach Griffin, who missed the game with an injury, is hoping his team has a better showing this time around.
“They played very defensive,” Griffin said. “We’re hoping to get back at them and play more offensive.
“Our confidence is pretty high, but we got to focus on the next game. We can’t get too cocky.”
After an underwhelming first-half performance, and a solid defensive showing by the Big Reds (5-9), Williamston started to find space and opportunities immediately after the half. Less that two minutes into the second half, Austin Brown headed home a cross from sophomore Alex Scott. Griffin followed that goal with one of his own nearly 10 minutes later. The senior eventually added one more midway through the second half.
Goalkeeper Ian Petri scored his first ever varsity goal late in the second half on a penalty kick. After sophomore Eli Richardson was fouled in the penalty box, the senior goalie stepped up and buried a shot to the back corner of the net.
“I was pretty nervous,” Petri said. “I was waiting for the keeper to react and he didn’t move. So I just hit it and he didn’t react quick enough.”
Despite the loss, Sexton coach Lazare Tegue was proud of the effort his team displayed. Tegue said it was a great accomplishment for his side to reach the district semifinals with a cast of players that have little experience.
“I was (almost) expecting this,” he said. “We played very hard against Corunna and, technically, my team has about 12 players. I was expecting to have tired legs.
“They have a good program. …We just have a varsity team. Many of these kids have never played team sports. It was a good experience for them going forward.”
Brian Ganton scored the game’s first goal, while Steffan Smalley scored the final goal with 10 minutes remaining.
Contact James L. Edwards III at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @JLEdwardsIII.