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Soccer: Forsyth Central girls cling to slim lead to edge North
Forsyth Central junior Gabby Cruzado maneuvers the ball around North Forsyth defender Kylie Maier on Tuesday, Feb. 25, 2020. - photo by David Almeda

Forsyth Central’s girls were only able to take advantage of one of many scoring opportunities against North Forsyth on Tuesday night, but the Bulldogs’ stout defense secured the shutout and a 1-0 win.

The Bulldogs improved to 2-2 overall and 1-1 in Region 5-7A play, the Raiders dropped to 1-3-1 overall and 0-2 in the region.

“(We had) a lot of opportunities and we just didn't finish,” Central girls coach Angela Camp said. “We've got to find somebody who has the urgency and want to score.

“At the end of the day, a W is a W. We're 1-1 in the region and I'll take it.”

To start the game, North was immediately on the defensive, but it took over 20 minutes for Central to finally break through for a score. While Central had chances to score more, Kennedy Sullivan accounted for the Bulldogs’ only goal of the night, which came with 10:52 left until halftime.

“It's super frustrating,” Camp said. “You can see it. You make great passes and then they try to hit the girl on the run or something and it's just off here, it's just off there. Those things are still off — We've got to figure those out.”

From that point, North was searching for the elusive game-tying score, which they almost got just four minutes after Central’s lone goal. Kaylee Baldwin found open space in front of the net, but the Bulldogs cleared the ball at the last second to take their slim lead into the half.

“If we could just score one, it would be a totally different game,” North assistant girls coach Crystal Fowler said. “That's the thing with our girls: If they score, they play confidently, but from what we've seen so far, if we can't bust through the goal, we're having some struggles.”

Central’s defense was strong enough to hold the lead late, even as the Raiders continued their attempts to tie it. Their best chance at doing that came with 26 minutes left in regulation, when Aspen Towney missed high on an open shot.

Despite the loss, the game achieved one goal for the Raiders, who were coming off a 10-0 loss to Lambert last Friday.

“We were really looking to build our girls' confidence tonight because Lambert took it to us the other day,” Fowler said. “I'm just really proud. We lost 1-0 but the second half was a lot better than the first half and we're just looking to improve and get better every game.”

Central will travel to play South on Friday, while North will visit Milton.