West Forsyth's girls soccer managed to escape its home field Tuesday night with a 2-1 victory over county-foe Pinecrest Academy—in more ways than one.
The ladies, luckier than the boys teams who matched up later, enjoyed playing time in a slight drizzle as powerful rain showers headed for the area. For the Lady Wolverines, the game felt in control for much of the contest, as they outshot the Lady Paladins 20-3 and didn't allow a live shot in the first half of play.
Still, Pinecrest had a chance with just under 3 minutes remaining when Erin Houlihan hit a dart from 20 yards that just missed the left post. Her shot was one of two chances, the other an opportune cross, that the Lady Paladins failed to finish as time wound down.
Considering the opponent, as Pinecrest was playing five classifications up, first-year head coach Domenic Martelli was more than pleased with his team's performance.
“(West) has a lot of good players, so I thought in the first half we hung in there,” Martelli said. “I told our team what we needed to do in the second half, and they responded by creating two chances, so I thought we gained a lot of confidence playing AAAAAA school. I think it's kind of a victory for us as we prepare for region, which starts next week.”
West had chances to score many more goals than two. They had five corner kicks, three of which turned into real chances to score that were missed my small margins. On the plus side, head coach Jason Bayush was able to sub lots of players—one, Molly Ewing, gave West the deciding goal with 17:34 left in the contest when she knocked a deflected ball in at point blank.
“It's one of those things where you have so many opportunities and you fail to make almost all of them,” Bayush said. “We got two in, but (Pinecrest) really made us do some things we weren't used to. We got a lot of subs in today which I thought was good. We just have to do a better job of putting the ball in the back of the net.”
Pincrest (1-3) went into the game without Margaret Metz and Bridgid McCabe, both dealing with minor injuries, while West (2-1) was unsure about using its duo of Arkansas commits in Brooke Pirkle and Carsen Parker. Both Pirkle and Parker are set to play in the AAAAAA state basketball tournament quarterfinals this weekend. They both originally lined up as early subs, but were held out into later in the game.
“It was just some confusion, but we got it figured out during the game,” Bayush said.
Parker was active on the scoring side of the field, especially on corners, but missed four tries.
Pinecrest's lone goal came from Houlihan with 3:05 left in the first half when she was awarded a free kick from close range after a collision in the box. Houlihan snuck the ball through from 15 yards.
West will prepare to go after a three-game winning streak when it plays at North Forsyth on Friday, while Pinecrest will hit the pitch again with a game against St. Francis on March 1.
West boys 7, Pinecrest 0
The boys teams were not as lucky, playing nearly the entire contest in pouring rain. The Wolverines (2-2) are on a two-game winning streak after defeating Peachtree Ridge last week, while Pinecrest falls to 0-4.
West scored 10 minutes into the game when Leo Trejo scored, then Trejo managed to send a running corner kick that bounced to the feet of Jamie Mata, who finished to give West an early 2-0 lead. West then got goals from Desmond Mwaura, Zach Merrick, Ivan Morales and Patrick Carter. Carter's goal was assited by Graham Bowers for the final goal. Carlos Reyes scored the final goal with just over a minute remaining.
Alex Baladez also nearly had a curling goal from 15 yards late in the game, but his skillful shot clanged around the top right corner of the crossbar and bounced out.