Frederica Academy’s boys and girls soccer teams earned shutout wins Friday over Trinity Christian School.
The boys team clinched the region title with a hard-fought 2-0 win over the Crusaders in a game where both teams played an energetic, up and down the field game.
The Knights got on the scoreboard less than 10 minutes into the game on a goal by Joe Levitan, who booted the ball past the goalkeeper after it deflected off several players.
Frederica kept Trinity on its heels much of the first half but failed to capitalize on several scoring opportunities.
The Crusaders came out motivated in the second half, knowing they needed a win to keep their chances alive to win the Region 2-3A championship.
The Knights — 12-1 overall, 6-0 region — were forced to play defense on their side of field early in the second half until about the midway point when Eric Tatum passed the ball to Jacob Myers, who scored to give the Knights a 2-0 lead and some breathing room.
After the insurance goal, the Knights denied the Crusaders many scoring chances the remainder of the game.
Knights coach Tim O’Sullivan said his players rose to the occasion in a must-win game.
“This was for the region championship,” he said. “In the first half, we didn’t create enough chances.”
Frederica doesn’t have another game until April 30 against First Presbyterian to end the regular season.
O’Sullivan said he has mixed feelings about his team having more an a week off before its next game. He plans to use the time to prepare his team for the playoffs.
“We will get some hard training sessions,” he said. “We need to find ways to stretch teams an make them feel our pressure. We will also work on defending at midfield.”
The final game against First Presbyterian may give some players, the seniors in particular, added pressure. If the boys win, they will have gone undefeated on their home field their entire playing time with the Knights.
Earlier in the day, the Lady Knights beat Trinity 1-0 in a tightly contested game that was decided on a free kick by Belle Slapikas with about 11 minutes remaining in the first half.
Coach Christy Bumgartner said Slapikas has helped the team win several games this season on free kicks.
“It’s hard to find a player like that. These free kicks are huge,” she said of the lone goal of the game.
Before the game, Bumgartner said she told her players to expect a close game.
“The game plan was to possess the ball more,” she said. “They were constantly making our players work.”
Frederica, 5-3-1 overall and 5-2 in region play, is assured a spot in the playoffs with Friday’s win. The good news is no team is running away with the region this year, and the Lady Knights have a chance to win the region championship with a win over First Presbyterian in the last regular season game on April 30.
Bumgartner said her team is playing some of its best soccer of the season at the right time.
“We’re jelling toward the end of the season,” she said. “We’re in a position where it’s possible to win the region. The goal is to be a No. 1 seed.”