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Lacrosse: West Forsyth easily handles Parkview in first-round match
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West Forsyth senior Cami Merkel drives down the field against Parkview during Thursday's 21-1 win. - photo by Jacob Smith

West Forsyth's girls lacrosse team offensively dominated their first-round playoff matchup Thursday against Parkview, scoring a 21-1 victory. 

The Wolverines had eight different girls score in the game. West head coach Chris Kiefer said that the team’s depth is all credited to the community West has built around lacrosse. 

“We have a high-level youth program that leads to a high level high school program,” Kiefer said. “These kids that what people might call second stringers would start on any other team. You come to West to win and make you better. Iron sharpens iron.” 

Madison Houlberg led the Wolverines in scoring, with a game-high five goals. All of Houlberg’s goals came in the first half. Noelle Kirley added four goals of her own, all in the first half as well. 

Cami Merkel distributed the ball well throughout the entire first half as well. She scored two goals and assisted on three goals and tied for the game-high in assists with her teammate, Ellery Shearer. Shear also scored two goals in the game. 

Hannah Savage scored a hat trick and Cate Cummings added two goals. 

Goalie Emma Anderson had several impressive saves throughout the game, keeping Parkview’s goals down to just one. Kiefer said that the team named Anderson their defense's most valuable player during the regular season. 

“She saves us a lot,” Kiefer said. “She can also clear. If we can go from a saved shot to the 50 without any defense, it’s hard to stop us. That might be the best all-around game we played all season.” 

Anderson said her mentality on the field is to “go and be great.” She took a leadership role this season and has enjoyed being vocal on the field. 

“I feel like I took a lot of leadership because the defense wasn’t congealing in the start of the season,” Anderson said. “I kind of started telling people, 'Let's get in front of them. Let's switch.' And I think we’re playing really well now.” 

West moves onto the Sweet 16 of the Class 7A playoffs and will play Cherokee next week. Kiefer said he did not know anything about Cherokee, other than the fact that they were in the second round of the state playoffs and could not be looked at lightly. 

“I think we have a really good chance to be in the state championship,” Kiefer said. “I hate to forebode, because you never know what’s going to happen. Our girls are gritty. We make them uncomfortable. We push them to the brink at practice.” 

The second-round game will be 7 p.m. Monday at West.