Forsyth Central won't play in the same region as its county foes until next season, but after the week that was, they might have already earned their respect.
Just two days after beating West Forsyth, the Lady Bulldogs won their second straight road victory with a 3-0 shutout of North Forsyth at Raider Valley on Thursday night.
Freshman Amy Goodrow opened the game's scoring when she curled in a free kick from 33 yards away over the outstretched arm of North goalkeeper Kat Fisher. Goodrow was one of two freshman to score on the night for Central, as Callie Fagan made the victory imminent with the game-sealing goal with just over five minutes remaining in the second half.
Fagan scored on a dead sprint from midfield after North mishandled a throw in, managing to deflect two defenders off her body within striking distance and hitting the ball with enough force to bounce off Fisher's hands and beyond the scoring line.
Fagan's goal was more celebratory, while Goodrow, who took a hard collision to the face just seconds before her first career goal, walked off from her scoring kick as if it was business-as-usual. It's a confident attitude that Central head coach Angela Camp continues.
“I'm very excited. The young girls that we got in mix with our veterans and gel well together,” Camp said. “Everybody has the fire inside of them to take it to other teams, and they just want to win.”
On Goodrow's goal, there was no surprise from Camp.
“She has played some nice set pieces in other games that we have had, but she just put that one in the back of the net,” Camp said.
Sophomore Alyssa Hooper added the exclamation point with just under two minutes remaining in the game, knocking in a goal from point blank range.
Central outshot North 18-6, with an 11-4 advantage in shots on goal. The Lady Bulldogs were active near their opponent's goal early on, but Fisher handled almost everything sent her way during the game.
At halftime, Fisher had seven saves, and she finished with 11, while also intercepting multiple crosses and making plays on her own. She earned plenty of praise from head coach Jared Steinberg after the game.
“Kat played a great game,” Steinberg said. “There's really only so much she can do. I know she was upset and that's okay because you want to see that type of emotion, but she stood in, held her ground tonight.
“We just came out flat in the first 15 minutes,” Steinberg said. “We really missed a lot of opportunities offensively tonight. We had a bad throw in with five minutes left. That's been an issue for us through three games, and it went the other way.”
Central boys 6, North 2
Central ran away from North in the second half to win its second consecutive game against a county opponent after beating West on Tuesday.
The Bulldogs improved to 2-1 with the win, and head coach Will Gifford hopes it's a sign of great things to come after just winning three games a year ago.
“For us, we're two years removed from being (winless),” Gifford said. “This is a big win, a county win, and another positive step for these guys that they've taken themselves.”
Central took a 3-0 lead in the first half with goals from Adrian Sanchez, Alejandro Romero and Gavin Mitchell, but two late goals back Zack Gilbert cut the first half score to 3-2. Central scored the rest of the way with goals from Connor Crocco and and Luis Morales, as well as another from Sanchez.
“I was very proud of their effort. I told the guys to win the second half, and that's what they did.”
North head coach Drew Fowler thought his team played tough, but made too many mental mistakes.
“We've just got to be able to finish. Right now we're losing our shape in our defensive third, but more than that we have to keep plugging offensively and try to put the ball in the net a little bit more. But I'll never question our guys effort.”