But the visiting Hoyas found ways to finish scoring opportunities in the second half, and that helped them gain separation before sealing a 4-1 victory over the Warriors at Emory Sewell Stadium.
With the win, Harrison (8-2, 4-0) is now tied with Kennesaw Mountain atop of the Region 4AAAAAA standings.
Harrison took 14 first-half shots to North Cobb’s five, but it could only cling to a 1-0 lead at the break.
While a strategic change wasn’t required during intermission, Harrison did make an adjustment.
“We talked about playing faster in the second half,” Harrison coach Jonathan Gross said. “We didn’t really need to change much. North Cobb was defending really well.”
It was Harrison’s second and third goals of the game early in the second half that really sparked the Hoyas. Andrew Deltac accounted for both assists while dribbling up the middle.
The Hoyas jumped to a two-goal lead 3 minutes into the second half, when Deltac dished the ball left to Cole Guertin, who put the ball in the back of the net. Deltac’s second assist came 17 minutes later, when he passed to Thomas Cook, who was on the run. Cook drew out North Cobb goalkeeper D.J. Sandoval and booted the ball right by him.
“Those two goals in the second half were 1-2 touch plays and that opened it up a little bit,” Gross said.
It also forced North Cobb (4-6, 3-2) to play with more urgency. Trailing 3-0, the Warriors quickly got on the board 30 seconds later, when Malcolm Williams ripped an unassisted shot from the left side that found the corner of the net.
“We tried to get more numbers going forward (in the second half), but we didn’t want to expose ourselves too much,” North Cobb Zach Mathis said. “After Harrison’s second and third goals, we had to put numbers forward.”
That was as close as the Warriors would get. Harrison capped the scoring 3 minutes later, when Deltac finished an 18-foot shot on a pass by Brett Mace.
North Cobb was strong in the back, especially the first half, but it couldn’t get many offensive possessions. The Warriors still managed 14 shots for the game, with Harrison goalkeeper Kevin McKay saving seven of the attempts that were on goal.
While North Cobb did make great defensive plays in the first half — Ahmad Choudhary cleared a Harrison shot attempt that hit the goal post — the Hoyas could have had a bigger halftime lead as other first-half shot attempt bounced off the post.
The goal post played a role in getting Harrison’s its first goal in the 25th minute of the match. Nathan Vickroy kicked an open shot attempt that hit the right pole, and Drew Blankenbecler took the deflected ball and finished.
Harrison 4, North Cobb 0: Savannah Vanderbeck scored two goals, en route to a Lady Hoya shutout.
Vanderbeck’s first goal on a Lizzie Sieracki pass gave Harrison (8-1, 3-0 Region 4AAAAAA) a 2-0 halftime lead. She struck again early in the second half on a Kelsey Zigler feed that gave the Lady Hoyas some separation.
Carly Rich and Sieracki also scored goals for Harrison. Rich’s unassisted goal put Harrison on the board, and Sieracki capped the scoring off a Melissa Cameron assist.