A soccer filled summer rolls on in Statesboro, and through all the ups and downs of a sports season there has been no shortage of action for either of Tormenta FC and Tormenta 2. The pro side took to the field at Erk Russell Park last Saturday against North Carolina FC, a long-running organization based just outside of Raleigh. NCFC sits in last place this year after a “strategic drop” from the second division USL Championship, and Tormenta rightly took control for the onset of the match.
Just seven minutes in, defender Josh Phelps got on the end of a corner kick and attempted a headed shot, but it flew just over the crossbar. Fellow center back Lars Eckenrode got a chance of his own five minutes later with another header, which flew right to a thankful goalkeeper for a simple save.
South Georgia continued to take charge of the game, outshooting their opponents with 16 shots to North Carolina’s four, with 11 of them coming from within the 18 yard box. Tormenta also dominated in the crossing statistic, sending in 28 compared to 7, although they were unable to capitalize on any of those opportunities. A strong showing from the defense limited North Carolina’s opportunities, not giving up a single shot on goal the entire night.
In the 78th minute, substitute Kristo Strickler was taken down in the box for a penalty kick, giving Tormenta FC a chance to finally take the lead. Marco Micaletto lined up his shot and hit it with pace- just wide of the goalpost. The game ended in a scoreless draw, Tormenta close but unable to put the ball in the net. A bye this week gives the team time to regroup before a trip up to Greenville next Saturday to play the Triumph, an always entertaining matchup.
Meanwhile, Tormenta 2 wrapped up their regular season schedule this week, earning a 2-1 win in Marietta against the SSA Kings on Tuesday and crushed the Dalton Red Wolves by a count of 5-1 Friday night.
The semipro side finished second in the Deep South Division, earning a spot in a newly expanded playoff field for the third consecutive season. The USL League Two playoffs begin on Friday, and Tormenta 2 will travel to either Columbia, South Carolina or Newport News, Virginia for the Southern Conference quarter and semi final rounds.
Tormenta 2 made a deep run in the last playoff back in 2019, winning the Southern Conference title en route to an appearance in the National Semifinals. This year’s team will look to exceed that performance and end the summer with a bang after an impressive 10-3-1 record, before heading back to their college teams in the fall or potentially earning a coveted professional contract and joining Tormenta in their League One playoff hunt.