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Soccer: West girls keep region title hopes alive with win over Central
Template Graphic West

By Josh Holland

For the Forsyth County News

On Thursday night, the West Forsyth girls soccer team held a 1-0 lead over Forsyth Central right before halftime when Ava Martin doubled the Wolverines lead. She maneuvered around Bulldogs goalkeeper Allie Strunk with the slightest of touches, leaving the goal gaping for a simple finish that gave her side the momentum it needed at a pivotal moment in the game.

West went on to win 2-0 at Central, a victory which was crucial for their playoff seeding status and region title chances.

In the opening stages of the game, both teams controlled possession in spurts, but West was always slightly better, as they strung crisper passes together and looked more threatening in the final third.

Twelve minutes into the game, Sarah Harrell propelled the Wolverines into the lead with a dipping shot from distance that grazed the crossbar on its way into the back of the net.

Martin’s goal right before halftime was the final goal of the game, but there were still plenty of chances for both teams in the second half.

“There’s not as much of a sense of urgency when you’re up to try to score goals.”  West head coach Jason Galt said. “I think you’re a little more settled on defense. We had been playing well all game, (so) just to finally put one in the back of the net gave us a little breathing room. Even two isn’t for sure, so it was an exciting game.”

Galt and his team are already looking ahead to the week after next when they take on Lambert at home in a game that could decide the region title.

“We’ve got the showdown against Lambert at our house for the region championship.” Galt added after the game. “It’s gonna be exciting. It’s gonna be very exciting.”

“We’re ready to beat them,” Martin said enthusiastically when asked about the Lambert game. “They’re our rivals, so our team is going to be ready to go after spring break.”

This crucial win gave West a 8-4-1 record on the season and 6-2 in the region. Central fell to 7-6 overall and 3-5 in the region.

Forsyth Central boys 5, West Forsyth 1

For the majority of the first half, both teams had spells of possession where they looked threatening. Eventually Central was able to take the lead, as Daniel Nogueira snuck one past the West keeper from 30 yards out with 12 minutes left in the first half.

The Bulldogs quickly created a cushion two minutes into the second half through Daniel Martin. West’s goalie managed to get a glove to it but it wasn’t enough to keep the ball out.

Central scored one more before the Wolverines got on the scoreboard when they were awarded a penalty kick with 21 minutes left in the game. This brought the score to 3-1, but West’s hopes were crushed with eight minutes left when Sergio Moreira scored off a shot that initially hit the post.

Five minutes later, Anthony Grasso scored Central’s fifth after a couple of slick moves inside the box to create the space. He sealed the win and brought his side to 9-4 on the season and 5-3 in the region. West are still searching for their first win of the season.