Last-second goal ends Lady Rockets' season
The Forrest Lady Rockets showed what they were made of Thursday night at the District 9A-AA Tournament in Kingston Springs, storming back from a two-goal deficit to tie the game before a last-second goal by White House ended their season in heartbreaking fashion, 3-2.
"I am very proud of this group of girls, they have played hard all year, and I could not have asked anything more of them in the second half of the game," said Forrest head coach Natalie Dennis.
No goal attempts
Forrest got off to a super slow start in the tournament semifinal, as they did not attempt a shot on the White House goal the entire first half.
"I feel that we got a slow start which could be because of different things such as field conditions, fall break, being out of the daily routine, etc.," said Dennis
The Lady Blue Devils controlled the action from the outset, peppering Forrest net-minder Jasmine Runk with shot after shot, but the freshman was up to the task and did not allow anything past her until Kayla Miller broke the deadlock on a penalty shot with 17:51 remaining in the first half.
Runk kept the Lady Rockets in the game, standing tall in the net for the rest of the first half as the scored remained 1-0 at the break.
"Halftime was not pretty," said Dennis. "I had some girls that were not performing up to their potential and I let them know that."
Dennis' halftime talk must have sunk in as Forrest began to surge at the outset of the second half, but it was not enough to stop White House as Madisson Davis came up with a goal at the 31:03 mark, putting the Lady Rockets in a deep 2-nil hole.
The Forrest resolve continued and with 22:12 left to play in the contest, senior striker Sarah Blasingim got free in the middle of the pitch and drilled a shot past Lady Devil goalie Jocelyn Humphries.
"Once Sarah scored, it did change the momentum of the game," said Dennis. "Our girls were more determined and it gave everyone the encouragement that we could possibly win the game."
The intensity went to another level as the field conditions began to deteriorate due to several days of rain, but the Lady Rockets kept trudging through the mud and their determination paid off when sophomore Brynn Colvin came up with the equalizer from long distance with 22:12 remaining in the game.
"The end of the field that we were shooting at in the second half was much harder to defend because of the field conditions," said Dennis. "It made a difference in the game and Brynn's goal got everyone fired up."
Both squads went into a higher gear as the action went from end to end as they tried to come up with the go-ahead goal.
Time ticked away and it looked like he contest would go to an overtime period until Davis stunned the Lady Rockets when she scored with just 55 seconds left.
Forrest still had one last chance when Humphries was yellow carded for a delay of game with 11.7 seconds remaining in the game, but was not temporarily removed from the contest as per TSSAA rules.
The Lady Rockets could not come up with the tying goal and the game ended.
"Allowing goals in the last few minutes of a half or the game has been one of our only downfalls this season," said Dennis. "But there was an issue at the end that could have changed the outcome of the game when their goalie got a yellow card, but was not removed from the game. The official got that wrong, but it is what it is."
Forrest finished the season with a 9-4 record and loses senior starters Cassie Septer, Blasingim, LaDonna Stinson, Sierra Waggoner, and Allison Perivolaris.
"All in all, the girls gave it all they had and never quit, we just came up short," said Dennis. "I told them that they needed to keep their heads up, that everyone in Chapel Hill was very proud of them for their performance this season, and that I loved each and everyone of them."
White House would go on to beat White House-Heritage 2-1 in the championship game on Saturday.