NEWTON — Forbush came inches and seconds away from knocking out the defending state champions in the second round of the 2A Men’s Soccer State Championship Tuesday night, but it was not meant to be.
After scoring within the first five minutes of the game, the Falcons were about to keep Newton-Conover off the board for the next 74 minutes, but there’s a reason they play 80 minutes, not 79. Newton-Conover scored on a controversial call with 1:11 remaining in regulation to tie it 1-1. Newton-Conover would go on to score in the second half of overtime to crush the dreams of Forbush faithful.
Keeper Enrique Rosales made some incredible saves to keep the lead, and as the Newton-Conover crashed into the box, fans of both sides were celebrating. Rosales got the ball, but the official call was that the ball had completely crossed the goal line before then, and the score was tied. As time expired in regulation, there was another controversy. Two seniors on both sides, for Forbush Ryan Miller and for Newton-Conover Alex Tenjhay, lost their composure. Tenjhay struck Miller in the back.
According to the official, had they called a foul on Tenjhay, both players would have been called off and the teams would play 10 v. 10 soccer. Instead, no call was made. For a while, the officials kept the game in check, calling yellow cards for being frustrated over a foul call.
Forbush knew its opponent well. Newton-Conover beat Forbush in the fourth round on the way to the championship last year. They came incredibly close to goals throughout the game but could not put it away.
Next year, the team loses a couple of seniors, but this team looks to come back stronger than ever, and hope they get another shot at Newton-Conover, this time, with a much different result.
Ryan DeCosta can be reached at 336-258-4052 or via Twitter @rsdecosta.