Chase Palmer Hat Trick Helps Midtown End Maynard Jackson Win Streak with 5-2 Win
As teams begin to get into region match ups, the Midtown Knights and Maynard Jackson Jaguars boys soccer teams met up for what would be each team’s second region match of the season, both off to 1-0 region play starts. On paper, the Jaguars went into Friday night’s match up with momentum appearing to be in their favor as they had won their last six games and boasted a 7-1 record. Meanwhile, the Knights, at 3-5, had yet to post back to back wins.
Midtown also entered Friday’s game down a few key players but it did not stop them from their game plan of coming out aggressive as they controlled the field throughout most of the game, leading to four shots on goal early in the first half. The Knights would eventually break through the Jaguars defense after a corner kick led to a header goal by freshman, Lathan Johnson, giving Midtown a 1-0 lead. Senior Chase Palmer, who completed the hat trick with three goals, would later give Midtown a 2-0 lead after a shot of his would bounce off the upper post and land just inside the goal line before bouncing out of the goal area.
Backs against the wall, the Jaguars would eventually get on the board thanks to a free kick by Fred Wallace that would find Jesse Fineman on the other end and Fineman would connect for the goal, Jaguars would trail 2-1 at the half. However, the play of Midtown’s backline defenders proved to be the biggest challenge for the Jaguars as they struggled throughout the remainder of the match to get any good shots on goal. They would manage to finally pick up their second goal of the game in the second half, but once again, the play of the Knights’ backline defenders stood up to the challenge of limiting Maynard Jackson’s shots on goal.
That was something that Midtown head coach Jaime Benedetti was happy to see because of the fact that the key players not in action for them Friday were backline defenders. “That’s exactly where we were missing players,” Benedetti said when asked about his backline defenders performance. “They really stepped up and made it happen so I’m really proud of the three guys that were playing in the back,” Benedetti added, noting that he did have a level of concern after two of them picked up yellow cards, “luckily we made it through”.