EAST BEND — Thursday night the Forbush Falcons women’s soccer team faced its toughest opponent to date, West Stokes. When these two teams have met over the past two years, sparks have went off and tempers have flared on both sides of the stands. Thursday night’s game was no different.
The first half started off even for both teams. The Falcons kept control of the ball for the majority of the half, but West Stokes defense stood tall every time the Falcons came close to goal. As the first half went on, the Falcons kept their shape wide to catch West Stokes pinched in. In the 10th minute, this strategy worked out for the Falcons as they found space on the right side. Emily Marcincavage drove from the midfield down the right hand side to beat three defenders and found a shot on goal. Marcincavage’s shot was tipped by the West Stokes keeper, and the Falcons couldn’t find frame to put the ball in the back of the net.
West Stokes answered back with a run of their own in the 15th minute. Forbush keeper Calyn Davis was ready for whatever shot came her way as she made a diving save to keep the score 0-0. Three minutes later West Stokes had another shot on goal, but Davis made another save for the Falcons.
“I thought we played great in the first half. We were going into the wind, so to have the wind in our face we played well,” said Head Coach Kenan James. “We came out strong. There were times where we kept the ball under pressure, and we need to do that more.”
With the start of the second half also came the start of the drama for the night. The Falcons came out strong, as Madison York drove down the field in the 43rd minute to beat three defenders with her technical footwork. York made a clean breakaway from the last West Stokes defender and saw the chance to give the Falcons the lead. York’s shot sailed past the West Stokes keeper and found its way to the back of the net to give the Falcons a 1-0 lead. The high from the goal was short lived for the Falcons, as West Stokes found the equalizer three minutes later.
“The goal was disheartening, but we didn’t give up. We didn’t get down on ourselves,” James said. “We had opportunities to give up, but we didn’t.”
As the second half went on, tensions started to rise on both sides of the field. Falcons goal-scorer, Madison York, was given a yellow card when she kicked the ball after the ref blew the whistle. Less than 10 minutes later, York was given her second yellow card of the night. The ref explained that he gave York her second yellow for “kicking the ball once again after the whistle was blown.”
After York received her second yellow, the Falcons played the last three minutes of the game with 10 players. When the final whistle blew, Forbush and West Stokes were tied 1-1. The game didn’t end there for either team, as it was decided that both teams would play two, 10-minute halves. During the two halves, Forbush played with 10 players but it still kept its momentum up.
“We had to be more conservative when we went down to 10 men,” James said. “We did well passing the ball. Overall we did well in those final 20 minutes.”
As the final whistle blew, after 100 minutes the Falcons ended the night tied 1-1. Overall the Falcons move to 13-0-1, and 1-0-1 in the conference.
“You can’t ask more from your players after going down 10 men and then playing twenty 20 minutes,” James said. “We did what we had to do.”
Kristian Russell can be reached at 336-258-4052 or on Twitter @YadkinElkSports.