Lady Rockets one and done
Forrest (5-5, 4-5) had a bounce back season under first year coach Natalie Dennis, finishing at .500 for the first time three years, but for the fourth time in five years, the Lady Rockets made a first round exit out of the District 11A/AA Soccer Tournament after being blanked 2-0 at Middle Tennessee Christian School (MTCS) Thursday night.
In a battle between the fourth and fifth seeds, it was the Lady Cougars (6-4-4), who came out determined not to let the Lady Rockets loose and for much of the game, MTCS supplied the offensive pressure.
For the first eight minutes of the contest, MTCS peppered Forrest keeper Candace Daughrity with several scoring attempts before Ashlynd Wilkerson finally posted a goal at the 33:35 mark of the first half.
"They were everywhere," said Dennis. "They were where they needed to be and had more pressure on the ball than we did."
MTCS continued to mount pressure, but could not get another shot past Daughrity, who finished her career in fine fashion, stopping 16 out of 18 shots on goal.
Midway through the first half, it looked like the Lady Rockets would tie the game, but Lady Cougar goalie Danielle White made a spectacular diving save to keep Forrest off the scoreboard.
Moments later, MTCS almost made it 2-0 when a shot seemingly destined for the back of the net, bounced off the crossbar and the first half would end with the home squad still leading one-nil.
The second half began just as the first with MTCS back on the offensive as they had three scoring opportunities in the first six minutes, but none got past Daughrity.
Senior striker Scarlett Roberson made a run for the goal, trying to stuff in a crossing pass from Sarah Blasingim at the 32:53 mark, but White was there for the stop and the Lady Cougars' lead remained by the slimmest of margins.
The annoying Lady Cougars were like the mosquitos flying around the field as they continued to bite, but could not break through for the second goal.
Forrest's best scoring opportunity came at the 15:25 mark of the second half when they swarmed the box, but a questionable foul call on the Lady Rockets was whistled and the threat was thwarted.
Less than a minute later, Wilkerson scored again, putting the cap on the game and the Lady Rockets' season.
"I feel like we have gotten better and better every game and learned to play as a team, something they lacked in the beginning," said Dennis. "We have really learned to play together as a family and a team."
Asked about what the team could do to get back to their winning ways next season, Dennis said, "Just stay in shape, just stay in shape."
The Lady Rockets have not advanced past the district tournament since 2007 when they lost at Columbia Academy in the first round of the region tournament, finishing with a 9-5-2 record.