The narrative stayed the same for the Forsyth Central and West Forsyth soccer teams when they met for county bragging rights Thursday night at the Wolverines’ field.
Both Central squads continued to struggle finding the back of the net. Both West teams showed why they are playoff contenders in Region 6-AAAAA.
The result was a sweep by the Wolverines, 2-1 in the boys’ game and 6-1 in the girls’ game.
The losses were the fifth in a row for both the Bulldogs’ programs. The boys slipped to 4-6-1, while the girls’ record dipped to 2-10.
The West boys upped their record to 4-8-1 — but hold a 3-1 mark in region play — and the girls are now 4-6 overall.
The girls game was tight at the outset, with both teams earning their share of scoring opportunities.
Six minutes into the contest, Bulldogs senior captain Tori Hood drove up the near sideline and set up sophomore midfielder Ayala Nogueira in the middle of the field, about 10 yards shy of the goal crease. But Nogueira’s shot trickled wide.
West appeared to have taken a 1-0 lead at the 31-minute mark, when senior forward Taylor McWhorter scored from just in front of the net. But the goal was nullified by an offside call on the Wolverines.
About seven minutes later, McWhorter put another shot on goal, this one kicked out by Central keeper Shelby Kemptner. West junior forward J.C. Rooney gathered the rebound but fired high over the crossbar.
At the 10 minute mark, At the 10 minute mark, West senior Valerie Kane lofted a corner kick into the middle of the scrum near the goal mouth.
Freshman defender Jo Jo Fish mistimed a header attempt and the ball instead bounced off of her shoulder and into the arms of Kemptner.
Central sophomore midfielder Monica Bailey had the final scoring chance of the half when she fired on net from about 20 yards out. But Wolverine goalkeeper Courtney Baum was there for the save to preserve a scoreless tie at the half.
But the second half proved to be an entirely different ball game. Rooney scored just 30 seconds into the period when she took a pass from freshman forward Landen Bowman, sprinted up the right hash mark and fired a low ball into the far corner of the net past Kemptner. With just over 11 minutes left in the game, Rooney struck again from nearly the same spot on the field, with the assist coming this time from junior forward Amanda Keith to give West a two-goal lead.
About a minute later, West went up 3-0 on a goal by Keith, who took a feed from McWhorter, sprinted up the far sideline and tapped a shot behind Kemptner, who had come out to cut down the angle on the shot.
McWhorter and Keith traded positions on the Wolverines’ fourth goal of the night with seven minutes left, as Keith sent a pass from near midfield to McWhorter, whose 15-yarder snuck just underneath Kemptner.
The duo switched roles yet again to give the Wolverines a 5-0 lead. This time McWhorter lofted a pass over a crowd of defenders and right in front of Keith, streaking down the middle of the field. She outran them to the ball and drilled a low, hard shot past Kemptner with six minutes to play.
Bulldogs senior Anne Fink broke up the shutout, when she scored with about four minutes left in the game.
But a minute later, West sophomore Abby Davis gave the Wolverines their five-goal lead back when she spun around a defender on the right side of the goal, settled the ball and drilled a bullet behind Kemptner, to put the finishing touch on the 6-1 drubbing.
West Forsyth (boys) 2, Forsyth Central 1
Bulldogs junior forward Rett Webb scored at the 10 minute mark of the first half to give Central a 1-0 going into intermission.
But West came out aggressively in the second half, putting six shots on goal during the first 10 minutes of the period. The Wolverines finally got the equalizer when junior forward Ranier Lopez’s corner kick was headed behind Central sophomore goalkeeper Andy Zuniga by senior Jose Rincon at the 27 minute mark.
Lopez looked to have put West ahead with a little over half a period left to play in regulation, but his goal from about 20 yards out was called off after the play was ruled offside.
But the Lopez-Rincon combination collaborated on the game winner at the 10 minute mark, when Lopez sprinted up the far sideline and led Rincon down the middle with a precise pass that Rincon almost overran. But he regained control of the ball just in time to fire a low shot past Zuniga, to give the Wolverines a 2-1 win.
“We knew we had plenty of opportunities. We just had a hard time finding the net,” said West head coach Jason Bayush. “We knew that if we kept up the pressure, eventually one of them would go in. I give a lot of credit to [Zuniga]. We put pressure on him all game and he never gave up.”
Bayush said he hopes the win over a community rival will give his team a lift with just two Region 6-AAAAA games left in the regular season.
“It’s good to play close games like this outside of the region,” said Bayush, who believes his team needs to win at least one of its remaining two region games against Alpharetta (3-4-1) on April 13 and Centennial on April 20 in order to secure a playoff spot. Both games are at home for West.
“I hope we’re peaking at the right time,” Bayush said. “I hope we can learn from this game and keep it going.”