By Brandon Speck/Monroe Journal
AMORY – Walton Chaney gave Amory an early goal and early breathing room and the Panthers won their Class 4A soccer playoff opener 4-0 against Newton County (11-8-1) Thursday night.
The win came after Amory’s Lady Panthers beat West Lauderdale 2-1 behind two goals from Addie Forbus.
Both teams will face Pontotoc Saturday beginning at noon with the girls match.
“Defense was the whole key,” said Amory coach Nathan Clayton of the boys win. “We gave them maybe two or three quality shots and on those Kyle (Thomas) made great saves. Offensively we capitalized on our opportunities.”
Chaney scored at the 4:48 mark before Zach Khima kicked in his Class 4A record 54th goal late in the first half.
He scored again after a footrace to the goal 24 minutes into the second half and Garrett Trautman scored on a header off a corner kick.
“I just had an open shot and took it,” Chaney said. “I didn’t really think about it. It was just there. I’m usually skeptical. It’s a lot easier to play when you’ve got the momentum.”
Amory improved to 15-6-1.
– (G) Amory 2 West Lauderdale 1: Forbus, a sophomore, scored her 51st and 52nd goals of the year to help Amory (13-8) advance.
Tied at 1, Forbus kicked in the game-winner in the 68th minute.
“Addie did a great job creating opportunities up top,” Clayton said, “and we played pretty well defensively. Ragan (Ostrowski) and Morgan (Miller) made some great plays. I thought our midfield played pretty solid. Both these teams we played tonight were very good.”
Forbus scored on a breakaway goal at the 27:13 mark of the first half but Addie Pope immediately tied the game off a corner kick.
Amory keeper Shelby Thornton came up with big saves in big times, one in the 34th minute.
Forbus came close in the 57th minute and after another save from Thornton on the other end, Forbus and Bailey Boyd missed back-to-back shots.
Thornton had a save at the 66:50 mark and a minute later, Forbus, who broke the school’s goals record this season, got behind the defense and scored the winner at 67:49.