After suffering a loss to Northview in the Region 6-AAAAA opener, West Forsyth’s girls coach Peter Valentino knew his team couldn’t afford a defeat against North Forsyth.
A strong passing game helped prevent the Lady Wolverines from falling to 0-2 in region play Tuesday, as Taylor McWhorter scored the deciding goal in a 2-1 victory against North in Raider Valley.
“It was very important for us to get this,” Valentino said.
“All the other region games, [since] we’ve got one loss, are must-wins for us, besides Milton, if we want to contend for a place in the playoffs.”
But West (2-6 overall, 1-1 region) had to rally Tuesday after North (5-3-1, 0-2) took a 1-0 lead on an 18th-minute penalty kick by Kayla Vincent.
Abby Davis responded for the Lady Wolverines less than four minutes later, scoring off a pass from Valerie Kane.
“The passing game was on tonight,” Valentino said. “[We] did a lot of good give-and-go’s, a lot of good combinations, and we were creating a lot of space.”
McWhorter broke the deadlock just over seven minutes into the half when she played a through ball and sent a shot into the net, and West’s physical defense limited North’s scoring opportunities in the second half.
“We got timid,” North coach Kathy Houston said.
“I was warned that [West is] a very physical team, and we have some girls who are and some that are not.”
Houston said injuries have also taken a toll on her squad and forced several players to occupy a different position.
“We can’t seem to get everybody healthy at the same time,” Houston said.
“I think the girls get frustrated because they’re trying to do everything we want them to do, but they just don’t know where to go or what to do.”
North will try to earn its first region win March 20 (5:55 p.m.) on the road against Alpharetta. West is off until a March 23 game against Roswell at the Wolverine Den.
“We’re finally starting to see some results on the tail-end of all of our playmaking,” Valentino said. “That’s the only thing we’re lacking, the finishing.”