A dominant first half was all West Forsyth needed to put away Johns Creek.
Monica Martelli and Laura Sheffield scored four of the first five goals in the game as the No. 2-ranked Lady Wolverines took a 7-0 lead into halftime and held on to defeat the Lady Gladiators 9-3 on Tuesday at The Den.
"I saw the goal and didn’t force anything," Martelli said. "[Johns Creek] played really good defense so it was a challenge for me, but we fought through.
"Hopefully, [I’ll have] more assists and more goals [throughout the season]. I’m going to try to help my team out as much as I can."
Lindsey Lindaman put West (4-0, 2-0 Area 3-AAAAAA) on the scoreboard less than four minutes into the game as she beat her defender and fired a close-range shot past the goalkeeper.
Martelli tacked on another goal exactly one minute later and Lindaman connected with Sheffield just outside the crease to take a three goal lead. Martelli and Sheffield then alternated goals to make the score 5-0.
Seniors Haley Hess and Cecilia Bailey got in on the action with one goal apiece to give West a 7-0 lead with 6:27 left in the first half.
The Lady Wolverines’ defense was just as dominant as the offense as they allowed only two shots on goal in the first half, all easily stopped by senior keeper Marisa Martelli.
"We worked hard in stopping their transition," West head coach Dan Kaplan said. "Our girls have been doing a great job running our transition this year. We moved the ball well.
"[Johns Creek is] a great team. They made it to the semifinals last year, so we know they’re a good team, [but] our girls just wanted it. It’s an area game and we know how important those are."
Johns Creek (3-1, 0-1) came out more aggressive in the second half and tallied goals from Mackenzie Dent and Katie Babiarz to close the gap to 7-2 with 18:35 left in the game and forced Kaplan to call timeout.
West halted the Lady Gladiators’ momentum, but Natalie Connors found her way past the defense and cut the score to four with 10:47 remaining.
The Lady Wolverines’ scoring drought came to an end three minutes later when senior Hannah Supik scored an unassisted goal, while Monica Martelli added an insurance goal with just over five minutes left to make the final score 9-3.
"I’m really proud of my girls that we met a little bit of adversity tonight," Kaplan said. "We did get down and start to see the lead slipping and them gain momentum, [but we] stayed composed and met the adversity head-on and readjusted and made the right plays."