By Jonathan Deal
The Athens boys soccer team was inches away.
Trailing 1-0, Jose Soto's long-range shot with less than a minute to play bounced off the underside of the crossbar and down onto the goal line, only inches from going in for the equalizer.
Briarwood fought off one Athens attack after another in the second half to hold on for a 1-0 victory in the Class 5A semifinals Friday afternoon at John Hunt Park.
The loss ends the season for Athens (21-1-1).
Check back later for more on this story and the Athens girls' 1-0 overtime win earlier Friday.