Lady Rockets drop tournament tune-up
The Forrest Lady Rockets were looking for a good tune-up game for the upcoming District 9A-AA Tournament and they got one as White House-Heritage came to Chapel Hill in postseason form Tuesday night, defeating Forrest 3-2 in the regular season finale for both squads.
"We had a good first half and I was pleased with that," said FHS head coach Natalie Dennis. "In the second half, our defense was not quick enough."
Forrest jumped out to an early lead when Cassie Septer knocked in a left-footed goal at the 28:48 mark of the first half to make it 1-0.
"After coming up with the first scored goal of the game, I was confident that we could do well," said Dennis. "As I have said before, we do better when we score first."
Lady Rocket freshman goalie Jasmine Runk made several great saves to keep the Lady Patriots off the scoreboard and Forrest had a great chance to make it 2-0 when Brynn Colvin was awarded a free kick, but the attempt sailed over the net.
White House-Heritage kept the pressure on Forrest and it paid off when Faith Williamson got behind the defense and scored in extra time, tying the game at 1-1.
The whistle to end the first half sounded moments later and Forrest knew they were in for a second-half battle.
"I am not sure that them scoring before the half gave them any momentum, but I knew that they would come out strong for the second half," said Dennis. "They are well coached and I told our girls at halftime to be ready for it."
The Lady Pats were the aggressors from the start of the second half as the play was mostly in the Forrest end of the pitch and with 34:30 remaining in the contest, freshman Camyrn Cooper took a nice pass from Williamson and beat Runk for the goal, making it a 2-1 contest.
The Lady Rockets could not get any offense going to match the second goal by the Lady Pats, who continued to put pressure on the Forrest defense.
Williamson escaped the Forrest defense again and put Forrest in a big 3-1 hole when she recorded the brace with 22:24 remaining in the game.
One more goal
Runk would come up with a huge save moments later to keep it a two-goal game before the Lady Rockets finally got something going that paid off with a Colvin goal with 4:25 left in the match.
White House-Heritage went into the drop-back mode, playing keep away and kept the ball either in the Forrest end or just cleared out of bounds the rest of the game, not allowing the Lady Rockets to mount the comeback for the equalizer, and the game ended.
"After Brynn scored to bring us within one, we needed to get the ball back in our end and could not seem to get it done," said Dennis.
Forrest (8-3, 5-2) earned the No. 2 seed in the South Division and will play Cheatham County (4-8) in the first round of the district tournament Tuesday night in Chapel Hill with game time slated for 7 p.m.
The Lady Rockets have lost in the first round six out of the last seven years and have not qualified for the Region Tournament since the 2007 season.
"These seniors are highly motivated going into the tournament and this is their last chance to bring home a district championship and some of them want it bad," said Dennis. "As for the rest of the team, they want it just as bad. If we play together as a team and play our game, we can make it happen."
Runk had 19 saves in the contest for Forrest, who will bring plenty of scoring firepower to Tuesday's opener as the Lady Rockets have averaged 5.8 goals per game over the regular season.
Septer leads the squad with 20 goals, Colvin is next with 18 tallies, Sarah Blasingim has scored 13 times, Sierra Waggoner has eight goals, LaDonna Stinson netted three goals, and Rickee Gayle Carter rounds out the regular season scoring with a pair of net finders.