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Gant nets 3 to lead North County past Farmington

BONNE TERRE – Ella Gant provided two crucial goals for North County during the final 15 minutes of a closely contested girls soccer showdown against Farmington on Thursday.

Riley Turner had scored the previous two goals to put the Knights ahead 3-2 early in the second half, but Gant responded to reclaim the lead and help achieve a 5-4 victory.

Gant netted the first, and the final two goals for North County (8-4) to finish with a hat trick. Her first shot went in from about 28 yards out with 16 minutes remaining in the first half after Farmington goalkeeper Rachel Turner collided with a teammate to leave the net unprotected.

Rachel Turner later tripped up Gant inside the box on an open break, which resulted in a red card and a penalty kick with 15 minutes to play. Gant drilled the attempt to the right of fresh goalkeeper Alyson Tucker for a 4-3 lead.

Gant capped scoring for the Lady Raiders with 12:10 remaining after breaking past two defenders with exceptional footwork, and dribbled within 10 yards before taking the shot.

Rachel Turner recorded nine saves for Farmington (3-4), and Tucker contributed six to close out the contest.

Riley Turner notched all four of the goals for the Knights, with three of them coming in the second half. She tied the score at 1-1 just three minutes after Gant opened scoring in the first half by taking a cleared North County corner down an open field.

Anna Morrow contributed a precise cross to Riley Turner in close to square the game at 2-2 less than three minutes into the second half. Her hat trick was completed with 23 minutes remaining after receiving a sideline throw near the goal for a 3-2 lead.

Morrow assisted on the final goal of the afternoon with a deep through pass from around midfield that connected with an uncontested Riley Turner, who sent the ball to the left of goalkeeper Brianna Morgan with less than two minutes on the clock.

Morgan ended with seven saves against 18 shot attempts by the Knights. North County tallied 27 tries at the goal, and added eight corner chances.

Emma Becker helped the Lady Raiders control a 2-1 advantage at halftime by recording her lone goal with 3:53 to play before the break. She split a pair of defenders near the top of the box before lunging to get her shot off near the boundary, and her attempt tipped off the foot of Rachel Turner to go in.

Tiffani Thomas tied the score at 3-3 just one minute after Riley Turner captured the lead for Farmington. She dribbled through a congested box and threaded a shot through the traffic with her left foot.

Emily Grief received the lone yellow card for Farmington for holding Gant on a North County scoring opportunity with 12 minutes to play in the first half. Several players collided in a more aggressive second half, but no other cards were applied.

Erin Coleman left the game for the Knights midway through the second half with an apparent knee injury after trying to cut off an attack by Thomas.

North County freshman Ella Gant (left) breaks past Farmington defender Faith Nelson on an attack during the second half on Thursday.

North County freshman Ella Gant (left) breaks past Farmington defender Faith Nelson on an attack during the second half on Thursday.

Farmington junior Riley Turner (8) shoots for her second goal after getting past North County defender Alyssa Huber during the second half on Thursday.

Farmington junior Riley Turner (8) shoots for her second goal after getting past North County defender Alyssa Huber during the second half on Thursday.

North County sophomore Emma Becker (right) stretches to shoot toward Farmington goalkeeper Rachel Turner during the first half on Thursday.

North County sophomore Emma Becker (right) stretches to shoot toward Farmington goalkeeper Rachel Turner during the first half on Thursday.

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