Lady Rockets lose home field advantage
The Forrest Lady Rocket seniors wanted to win their final regular season game at Cascade Tuesday night, real bad. At stake was fourth place and a home game in the first round of the District 11A-AA Tournament, beginning next Thursday.
But the Lady Champions, celebrating their senior night wanted it worse, and they got in a hard fought 4-2 win.
It was a misty, rainy night in Wartrace as the two rivals met for the home field prize.
Forrest came into the contest at 3-3 in district competition and Cascade sported a 4-2 record. A Forrest win would have given the Lady Rockets the first round game due to the head-to-head tiebreaker.
Forrest had the first scoring opportunity just three minutes plus into the game when Taylour Allen was awarded a penalty kick inside the Cascade box. Allen's free kick sailed high over the crossbar and the game remained scoreless.
The Lady Champs began to surge and stayed in the Forrest end for several minutes.
The pressure paid off for the home squad when Ashley Bledsoe beat a Forrest defender and sailed a beautiful crossing pass in front of the goal where Laura Jett was waiting. Jett hit a perfect header into the top left corner for the score, giving Cascade a lead they would never surrender.
Forrest had several scoring chances, but Cascade goalie Kayla Carden stopped every attempt.
With 10:42 left in the first half, Bledsoe struck pay dirt with a bending long ball from the right side that went into the top left corner of the net, making it 2-0.
The Lady Rockets needed a goal before the half ended and senior Anna Wiser delivered with 5:40 remaining when she took a nice chip from fellow senior Allen and deposited the ball past Carden, cutting the Cascade lead in half at 2-1.
Wiser almost tied the game at 2 with less than one minute left, but Carden came out of the net, cutting the angle on Wiser to make a great diving save to preserve the one goal lead going into the halftime break.
The second half was a battle as both squads picked up the intensity with 40 minutes remaining in the regular season.
Back and forth the two rivals went.
Forrest goalie Shannon Warren prevented Cascade from taking a two goal lead on at least three occasions before Lauren Ware broke free from the Lady Rocket defense and scored unassisted at the 10:11 mark, making it 3-1.
The Lady Rockets had no quit in them and the hustle paid off when Korisa Warlick cleared the ball from the Forrest end right to Wiser on the run at midfield.
Wiser beat one Cascade defender and raced in for the score, making it a one-goal game at 3-2 with just 4:15 left in the contest.
The Lady Champions would not be denied the home field advantage and put the nail in Forrest coffin at the 1:30 mark when Katie Moulder stole a clearing pass and drilled the ball past Warren for a 4-2 lead.
The final seconds ticked down and the game was over.
In the district standings, Page finished first, MTCS second, Cascade third, MCHS fourth, and Forrest fifth. The top four host a first round game, and Forrest will play the Tigerettes in Lewisburg on Thursday.
After the first round, the remainder of the tournament moves to Huntland.