Polk County's Miriam Santibanez eyes the Fred T. Foard defense during Wednesday's soccer action at Polk County.

Corner kick leads to lone goal as Foard spoils Polk County home opener

Polk County’s girls soccer squad held its own for most of Wednesday’s non-conference matchup with Fred T. Foard, but the Tigers took advantage of a late scramble in front of the net off a corner kick to punch in the game’s only goal and earn a 1-0 win in the Wolverines’ home opener.

The Foard junior varsity also won, earning a 1-0 victory.

A 3A school from the Hickory area, Foard (2-2) controlled play much of the first half in the varsity battle, keeping the ball on the Wolverines’ side of the field and repeatedly testing Polk goalkeeper Kara Overholt. But the Polk defense and Overholt turned aside all challenges, the Tigers’ closest chance coming with 20 minutes left in the half when a shot clanked off the crossbar.

Polk had its best first-half chance to score with just over 12 minutes left when Sammie Firby got free in the right side of the penalty area, but was stopped by a sliding Foard goalkeeper as she maneuvered to shoot.

Overholt closed the half with a nice save, leaping high to catch a free kick with six seconds remaining.

The Tigers finally broke the scoreless drought in the second half. A corner kick fired toward the back post resulted in a scramble in front of the net, with Foard’s Makayla Walter finally tapping in the loose ball to give the Tigers the 1-0 edge.

The Wolverines, though, didn’t go quietly into the night. Polk County stepped up its offensive efforts, with Ellese Cash narrowly missing goals at the 13:43 and 5:29 marks of the half. Firby also made a nice run at the 4:04 mark and drilled a shot from the right wing that just curled right and outside the post.

Polk County (1-1) travels Monday to face Hickory.