Records and trophies were moot Thursday night for West Forsyth and Forsyth Central's girls lacrosse teams.
In the final game of the season for both clubs, the 19-2 final score in favor of West was overshadowed by moments of collective sportsmanship, laughter and some tears.
Central senior team manager Rachel Fratt stood on the sideline, as she had for the last few weeks after suffering a severe concussion, and watched her teammates fall behind 16-0 at halftime. At the start of the second half, it was Fratt who was surprised with a stick, jersey and a trip to midfield to take a draw. Moments later she scored to avoid the shutout and received hugs and ovation from both team's and the crowd.
“I had no idea it was coming,” Fratt said. “I was in shock. It was honestly indescribable.”
Moments later, West's Amelia Steele, who's also missed considerable time during her senior year with an injury, entered, knee brace and all, and answered Fratt's goal.
West coach John Thompson couldn't hold back a few tears when the contest ended.
“Everyone wants to remember their last one. I know I remember mine,” Thompson said. “Most of the players on both teams here know eachother and just want what's right for everyone, and tonight was all about that.”
A sidebar to the day: West took the Forsyth Cup with the victory, going 4-0 against other teams in the county (South Forsyth, North Forsyth, Lambert and Central).
“Having beat the top teams in the county three years in a row is pretty sweet,” Thompson said.
West even did some experimenting, putting starting goalkeeper and senior Kara Duclos in an offense in the second half. Duclos scored one of the Wolverines' three second-half goals.
Despite the lopsided result, Central's team was all smiles after the contest.
Head coach Meagan McLeod said her young team never quit. “This team's very special. We have some special seniors, and we've improved so much. Some girls on this team just a while back had never even seen a stick before, and now you can barely recognize them.”
Records fell as well: Monica Martelli won her 140thcareer draw—a school record—while Erika Cross broke the school record for ground balls with her 123rd. Sarah Grady scored five goals in the contest to eclipse 100 career goals.
Overall, 13 girls scored goals for West.
The Wolverines finish 13-4 on the regular season amidst an eight-game winning streak, while the Bulldogs fell to 1-15.
Seniors for Central included Fratt, Kendall Greer, Caitlin Howell, Mia Kologranic, and Hannah Smith. Seniors for West included Cross, Duclos, Sydney Frye, Haley Harrison, Martelli, Channing Milford, McKinley Puckett and Steele.