Tuesday March 5th, 2024 7:58AM

Boys soccer: EHall beats GHS in 2nd OT to open season

By Jeff Hart | Video by Seth Chapman

GAINESVILLE, Ga. — East Hall opened its season in thrilling fashion Friday night, getting a 3-2 win over Gainesville in the second overtime at City Park Stadium.

Javier Sanchez drilled a 30-yard free kick off the post two minutes into the second overtime, and the Vikings' defense was able to hold on for the victory.

“Javy put a great ball in, and everybody kind of backed off, and it skipped off the grass and the post and went,” East Hall coach Chris Henry said. “Credit Javy for putting in a dangerous ball in that area and just causing some chaos.”

Gainesville applied early pressure right from the start, but the Vikings (1-0) were able to weather the storm and got the first break in the 30th minute.

Oscar Barcenas got taken down in the box on a corner kick and then buried the PK for a 1-0 East Hall lead. Then, with about 2 minutes remaining in the first half, Jonathan Torres took a pass from Kevin Garcia and then found the net for a 2-0 Vikings lead they took into halftime.

But Gainesville (0-2) answered back in the second half. In the 53rd minute, Miguel Galaviz slid a shot past the keeper to cut the lead to 2-1. It stayed that way until just three minutes left when Gabriel Ixcoy Calel tied the game to eventually send it to overtime.

But the Vikings' defense held off some early charges by the Red Elephants in the first overtime before getting the game-winner in the second extra period.

"Something that we focused on over the past three years is composure," Henry said. "Anytime we play Gainesville, the games always tend to be physical because the kids know each other. I'm proud of our guys for handling their composure."

East Hall will jump right into Region 8-4A play on Tuesday, playing host to East Forsyth.

Gainesville also begins its Region 8-6A slate next Friday, playing host to North Forsyth.

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