EAST BEND - Forbush head coach Kenan James shook his head, laughed, and said “you don’t expect to do that against Wilkes Central.”
James and his Lady Falcons dominated Wilkes Central in all facets of the game Thursday night en route to a convincing, and somewhat surprising, 9-0 victory in a meeting between the top two teams in the Mountain Valley Conference.
“I’m just floored,” James continued. “I think we shot 60 percent in the first half. They were pushing pretty hard there at the end and we had two counter-attack goals. So four goals on set pieces and two counter-attack goals when they’re pushing, that accounts for six of the nine goals.
“I’m very pleased. I thought we had the right attitude and frame of mind heading into a big game. I’m proud of them,” he added.
Looking for revenge from a humbling 5-1 defeat at home to the Eagles a year ago, Haley Lindsay and Forbush came out trying to make a statement early on.
Less than two minutes into the game, that statement was heard loud and clear.
Lindsay dribbled through the Central defense and found the back of the net in the second minute (1:20 mark) that started an offensive onslaught in the first half that the Eagles never recovered from.
Two minutes later, Jennifer Baity found Tiffany Kennedy open in the box on a short corner kick, who fired it past the keeper for a 2-0 advantage.
Maddi Morsch pushed the lead out to 3-0 when she headed home a goal on a perfectly placed corner kick by Baity at the 21-minute mark. Madison York followed when she fired a shot off an Eagle defender that rolled past the goalie.
Victoria Cohn picked up a loose ball in the box and found the back of the net to give Forbush its fifth goal of the opening 30 minutes of play.
Late in the half, Sydney Caudle knocked home another Baity assist on a corner kick to give the Falcons a commanding 6-0 lead at the halftime horn.
Sitting three goals shy of another mercy-rule victory, Baity and Lindsay took control.
After setting up her teammates on three goals, Baity finally added her name on the score sheet. The Pfeiffer-bound senior headed a throw-in past the keeper 58 seconds into the second half to push the cushion to 7-0.
With the goal, Baity became the seventh Falcon to find the back of the net in the game in a deep, balanced attack, which James points at as a strong suit for the team.
“I think that is the way this team is - we are deep and well-balanced. I told them that teams won’t be able to man-mark us because somebody else will step up. It’s a good situation to have,” he said.
Central finally showed some signs of life early in the second, nearly ending Jessica Funk’s five-game shutout streak.
But the Falcons responded in a hurry as Lindsay lead the counter-attack back down the field.
The senior dribbled through the Eagle defense and poked it past the goalkeeper on back-to-back possessions to complete the hat trick and give Forbush the dominating 9-0 triumph.
“The past couple practices we’ve been practicing on finishing. And I think we did a real good job at that tonight,” James said. “We were basically thrashed by them last year here, so they wanted to come out and play well. I’m really pleased.
“Haley was motivated tonight,” he continued. “They were open at times in the middle and they couldn’t stop her with her speed. And she had some really good finishes. I’m hoping she can be that highly motivated for the rest of the games.”
The Falcons improved to 10-0 on the season and 7-0 in league play with the win, continuing their strong start to the season.
The shutout victory was Funk’s sixth in a row and her ninth clean-sheet this year. Forbush has out-scored its opponents 74-1 over the first 10 games.
Forbush looks to continue its roll Tuesday night against East Wilkes at home.
Reach Matthew Gorry at 835-1513 or firstname.lastname@example.org.