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Soccer: Keegan Williford denies West in PKs as Forsyth Central wins 9th straight

By Derrick Richemond

Keegan Williford’s crucial save in penalty kicks lifted Forsyth Central's boys soccer team to victory on Tuesday. 

The Bulldogs and West Forsyth couldn’t get the game over in two overtime periods, which led to penalty kicks. 

After each player nailed their penalty kicks, one goalie had to step up. That’s when Williford dove to deny Oskar Bringle’s shot. 

In West’s previous game against Lambert, Bringle hit the penalty kick to win. 

“Honestly, the boys worked really hard,” Bulldogs head coach Will Gifford said. “We’ve done a lot of fitness. They are a mentally tough group. We knew West was really good, we knew it was an incredibly important game for West as it was for us. To quote my assistant coach Paul Mallalieu, 'You guys have to find a way,' and that’s what they did tonight.” 

The Wolverines got the first goal of the match off Marsden Harrison’s penalty kick. The two teams took turns exchanging shots at the goal, but none were successful. 

Toward the end of the first half, Lucas Oliveira drilled the ball 35 yards out into the goal to tie the match headed to halftime. 

With 21:28 remaining in the match, Central executed a corner kick perfectly, with Abraham Lemus scoring from Oliveria's assist. 

The Wolverines got a free kick shortly after. Multiple players tried to kick the ball in traffic, but the ball rolled over to Robert Cruz, who finished the play with an easy goal to even the score.

West became more aggressive on attack as the game went on. Central spent the majority of the second half defending. However, West failed to put points on the scoreboard.

With both teams struggling to find the ball into the net in two overtime period, the match went into tie-breaking method with penalty kicks to determine the winner. 

After Oliveira's shot went in, it was Bringle’s turn. He lined up, kicked a shot wide left, but Williford dove and swatted it away, leading Central to their ninth straight victory.

“It feels amazing to win and to let the team come together though that one win,'' Williford said. “I want to thank my teammates for making the PKs and God for giving me the opportunity tonight.”