The Forrest Rockets used a four goal first half to beat the Marshall County Tigers 6-2 in the first round of the District 11A/AA soccer tournament Saturday on a soggy pitch in Chapel Hill.
Forrest junior midfielder Aron Alcala, who scored two goals in the contest, said after the game, "It means a lot to beat Marshall County, they came close to beating us in the regular season, but we came together today and played our game."
Rockets strike first
The game was back and forth for the first ten minutes until Matt Allen scored on a rebound to give the Rockets a 1-0 lead.
The Rockets made it 2-0 less than three minutes later when Alcala took a throw-in on the left sideline and juked past two Tiger defenders for a pretty goal to give the Rockets a 2-0 advantage.
The Tigers almost cut the margin in half on a run and shot by Jose Covarrubias, but Forrest goaltender Devin O'Brien made the save to protect the lead. Covarrubias had another chance at the 24:18 on a corner kick, but shot the ball just wide.
Acala went down with an injured ankle at the 21:18 after another attempt that was stymied by Tiger keeper Ethan Stewmon, who made a nice stop on a tough ball in the left corner.
Forrest put the Tigers in a three-zip hole with eleven minutes left in the first half when Danny Johnson scored the first of his two goals in the game. Johnson took a pass inside the box and scored top right for the three-goal margin.
Marshall County tried hard to pressure the Rockets and almost broke through with a goal at the 13:00 mark on a beautiful corner-kick play that O'Brien barely got a hand on.
Anglin gives Rockets four goal lead
Forrest got their fourth goal of the half on a towering left-footed goal by Kyle Anglin that went all the way to the top left corner of the net. Stewmon tried to make the leaping save, but the ball barely went over his outstretched arm.
Marshall County was not deterred as they put some heavy pressure on the Rockets late in the half, but could not find the back of the net on several attempts, the best chance on a penalty kick just outside the box by freshman Christian Ibarra at the four minute mark.
Trey Russell had one last attempt in extra time on pass from Ibarra, but the ball sailed just over the crossbar and the Rockets went into the halftime break, leading 4-0.
Down by five
turn up pressure on Rockets
The Rockets made it 5-0 when Alcala, who came back from his injury and scored on a twisting corner kick at the 37:50 mark.
The Tigers never quit and kept pressuring the Rockets in an attempt to get back in the contest and finally broke through on a penalty kick by Ibarra with seventeen minutes left in the game to make 5-1.
Marshall County was determined to keep the ball in the Rocket end of the field in the second half and they controlled much of the action as Ibarra scored again on a pass from Covarrubias midway through the second half to make it a 5-2 game.
The energized Tigers looked like they would cut the margin even more, but Johnson knocked home a rebound with sixteen minutes left to make it 6-2 and put the Tigers in a tough spot.
The game was intense and both squads played hard and tough as was expected in the inter-county rivalry contest and the Rocket lead held up for the victory.
Forrest advanced to the semi-finals on Tuesday at the Siegel Soccer Complex where they will play a Middle Tennessee Christian squad that defeated them 6-4 on April 17th in a big second half comeback.
O'Brien talked about the disappointing loss to MTCS and said, "We played not to lose in the second half of that game, this time we will play to win."