Late penalty kick lifts Lady Rockets over Viqueens
When you’re thinking about children with cancer, some of the things we think are overstatedly important seem small and the everyday enjoyments such as playing sports are brought into a higher perspective.
The Forrest Lady Rockets and Community Viqueens played for those children Tuesday night at the Lions Club Memorial Field in Chapel Hill with the proceeds of the game and donations going to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
The game was a part of the Team Up for St. Jude Spirited by Varsity - Game Day Program, in conjunction with the Health Occupations Student Organization (HOSA) Future Health Professionals at Forrest School.
“This was very important for us, anything we do to help kids out and help the community out any way, we are going to do it,” Forrest coach Nicole Pickle said. “It just worked out this year that the game was against Community which added a little fuel to the fire.”
“That helped us to get our numbers up and make some money, I’m not sure of the total, but we had a big crowd and sold a lot of barbeque plates before the game.”
The contest was as spirited as the cause with the two squads turning in excellent performances on the pitch in the all-important District 6A clash, won by the Lady Rockets 2-1 on a penalty kick by Macy Baker with two minutes remaining in the game.
“It was an intense game,” Pickle said. “It is always a good intense spirited game with them and we needed one and we finally got it, we squeezed it out there in the end.”
The game was high intensity from the opening kickoff as both teams had an even amount of chances in the first half.
Forrest’s all-district goalie Jasmine Runk kept the Viqueens off the board with several big first half saves and Community’s net minder Jaley Vincent came rushing out of her goal box to make a great diving save on a Zoe Long run midway through the half.
The Lady Rockets almost scored again when a Lythia Ramirez corner kick fell right at the feet of several Forrest attackers, but they were unable to convert.
With just seconds to go in the first half, Community came up with an apparent goal that was called back on an offside flag and the first half ended with a double nil.
Forrest struck quickly in the second half as Rickee Gayle Carter received a pass from Long and drilled the ball into the back of the Community net for a 1-0 lead.
The Viqueens turned the table moments later when Gaby Doyle scored on a penalty kick to tie the game at 1-1.
Both teams tried to get the go-ahead goal with action going from end-to-end for the remainder of the second half until Long made at run down the right side of the pitch into the penalty box when she was brought to the ground and fouled.
Baker stepped up and cleanly hit the ball low and left past Vincent for the game winner.
“I just told her (Baker) to be simple and think simple and she went low to the corner and that is hard to defend as a keeper,” Pickle said. “She did a great job and pulled through for us and gave us the lead there in the end.
“Macy has played before and has handled pressure before, she plays center-mid and that’s why we put her in that position.”
Forrest celebrated Senior Night on Thursday versus Cascade with a win vaulting Forrest into a first place tie.
“For the most part we are ready to go, we got some kids banged up tonight, but this district win was very nice,” Pickle said.
Baker will miss the district game due to a concussion she suffered versus Community.
Community 0 1-1
Community-Gabby Doyle (PK)
Forrest-Rickee Gayle Carter, Macy Baker (PK)
Shots on Goal-Macy Baker 6, Zoe Long 3, Johnetta Nelson 1, Lythia Ramirez 1, Rickee Gayle Carter 1
Saves-Jasmine Runk 25
District 6A Standings
District 6A Tournament at Forrest
Semifinals (Tuesday, October 2)
Finals (Thursday, October 7)