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During his South Carroll varsity career, senior Noah Boswell spent the majority of his time playing defense and halting opposing strikers.

In his final regular-season home game, Boswell got the opportunity to lead the Cavaliers attack.

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He didn't disappoint.

Boswell's first multi-goal game of his career pushed South Carroll to a pivotal 3-2 win over North Carroll on Thursday at Parker Field.

The win allows South Carroll (8-2-2, 4-1-1 county) to control its own destiny in the Cowan Division. The Cavaliers are now in line to play for the county title Oct. 26.

The leaders of each division square off in the championship game. Liberty leads the Hersh Division at 4-1 (Century is second at 3-2; the Knights face South Carroll on Tuesday).

Boswell, the usual center back, was given the start at striker and given the responsibility of pacing the Cavaliers attack. He scored the eventual game-winning goal with 13 minutes left in the first half. His low, bouncing shot found the back corner of the net from roughly 15 yards out.

Five minutes later, he added his second goal off a rebound right in front of the net.

"Hopefully, I get more opportunities," Boswell said of playing striker.

South Carroll captain Nick Ellis said Boswell sticks out in practices. He's the one always hustling, always giving maximum effort.

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"He's got a lot of energy," Ellis said. "Every day at practice he gives it his all. It's an inspiration to all of us."

The Cavaliers were in desperate need of Ellis' offense. North Carroll (7-2, 4-2), a likely Class 1A state championship contender, got off to a quick start.

Senior midfielder Ryan Lanza scored off a perfectly placed header in the fifth minute to give the Panthers an early 1-0 lead. The goal came off a header from senior midfielder Tristan Miller.

South Carroll answered with a penalty kick goal from leading scorer Ethan Gass with 18 minutes left in the first half. The penalty opportunity was earned when Nick Lindsay was taken out by the North Carroll goalie.

The two Boswell goals helped South Carroll pull away.

Cameron Ament's goal 3 minutes into the second half cut the South Carroll lead to 3-2. It was the first of several goal scoring opportunities for the Panthers.

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"They did everything they could to get that equalizing goal," South Carroll coach Tim Novotny said.

North Carroll could not take advantage of two terrific opportunities.

A hand ball negated a second Ament goal.

North Carroll also did not get a shot off on a late direct kick opportunity. Panthers senior Drew Schlossenberg drew a foul about 20 yards away from goal, setting up a direct kick with less than a minute left.

The official time with less than 2 minutes left in a half is kept on the field by the head referee. While two North Carroll players lined up for the scoring opportunity and debated what to do, the referee checked his watch and blew the whistle, ending the game before the Panthers could get a shot off.

Relieved South Carroll players rushed back to the sideline to celebrate. Boswell walked over to the gate to receive congratulations from the South Carroll student section. One classmate hoisted a sign bearing Boswell's name.

After a successful first stint as a striker, it's possible he will get to play there some more.

"His goals were the difference," Ellis said.

Goals: NC-Ryan Lanza, Cameron Ament; SC-Noah Boswell 2, Ethan Gass.

Assists: NC-Lanza.

Saves: NC-3 (Cameron Keith); SC 6.

Halftime: SC, 3-1.

JV result: NC, 2-0.

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