By Weston Walker
For the Forsyth County News
On Friday night, neither West Forsyth nor North Forsyth were able to put together any offense in the first half of their region girls soccer matchup, but a final minute score forced overtime, and West eventually went home with the 6-5 victory on penalty kicks.
In the first half, West (6-8-2, 4-4 Region 5-7A) had four shots on goal, but failed to put the ball in the back of the net. Perhaps its best chance came on forward Jasmine Brown’s shot that deflected off of the right post and went out of bounds.
North (5-10-1, 0-10) didn’t see much possession in the first half and only had one attempt at goal. Just seconds before the end of the first half, Sydney Miller launched a rocket of a cross to the far post, but Abby Miranda sent the shot wide right.
After 40 minutes, the game was still scoreless. Finally, the Raiders broke through in the 63rd minute.
North got a key stop on a Wolverine attack and was off to the races. Miller passed down the right sideline to a sprinting Kristina Evans, who took a few touches and fired the shot into the upper right corner of the goal. The ball hit the crossbar and bounced into the back of the net.
Suddenly, it seemed as though the Raiders were going to get their first region victory of the season. That feeling remained until the final minute of regulation.
After a defensive stop and counter of their own, the Wolverines raced down the middle of the field. Karson Rosenberger possessed the ball until threading a pass through multiple Raider defenders. Freshman Bennett Beisbier took two touches and tapped the ball past the outstretched leg of Raiders keeper Savannah Cummings.
With 41 seconds to play, the Wolverines tied up the match. The Raider’s first region victory was suddenly in doubt.
“We just had a lot of chances the whole game,” West head coach Kim Spence said. “We just knew that if we kept fighting and kept pushing, one would finally go in the goal.”
After 10 more minutes of scoreless extra time play, penalty kicks were necessary to decide the game.
“I told them just to have confidence and to believe in yourself,” Spence said. “It doesn’t matter who’s in that goal.”
Obviously, Grace Ann Green listened.
After five successful penalty kicks from both sides, North’s Stephanie Metzger stepped up and was denied by West keeper A.J. Needham.
Green, the next kick taker, calmly stepped up, connected, and shot the ball past Cummings.
“Coaches told us not to think too much about it,” said Green. “(They told us to) just put it in the back of the net.”
West Forsyth boys 5, North Forsyth 0
Similar to the Lady Wolverines, West’s boys team started off slow offensively.
In the 14th minute, West Forsyth (5-12, 4-6 Region 5-7A) boys head coach Jason Bayush received a yellow card for arguing with the referee, and it lit a fire under his team.
“Any time you get a yellow, it can definitely pump you up. We used it to our advantage today.” Bayush said. “Once we got on the board, we kind of opened it up from there.”
Two minutes later, Aiden Mienert scored. Nine minutes after that, Martin Mejia scored.
When all was said and done, three different Wolverines had scored, including a brace from Sam Swanger.
North Forsyth (2-11-3, 0-10) failed to score on the night.