RALEIGH — Forbush’s girls soccer team scored quickly Friday night, then held off one of the top soccer programs in the state for its most monumental win of the season thus far.
Freshman Jennifer Baity’s early goal stood up in a 1-0 victory at Cardinal Gibbons, a private school from Raleigh. The Falcons fought a stiff head wind the entire second half.
Forbush is currently ranked No. 1 in the state for Class 2A. Cardinal Gibbons, a former 2A power and the 2007 state champion, moved up to 3A this school year and is currently ranked ninth in its new classification.
“The game was a tale of two halves, and the wind was the 12th woman,” Forbush coach Kenan James said.
With the wind at its back, Forbush capitalized early. Leticia Patino was obstructed by a Gibbons defender just inside the penalty box, setting up an indirect kick. Jessica Baity took the kick, passing it to younger sister Jennifer, who shook off one defender and put the ball into the side net at the far post.
The Falcons had other opportunities before intermission but couldn’t covert off free kicks and corner kicks. That set up a tense final 40 minutes.
“The second half was all about surviving two storms, Cardinal Gibbons’ furious attack and the 20 mile-per-hour headwind that kept the ball in our half most of the time,” James said. “Our team bent but didn’t break. We allowed several shots but most were high and wide.”
Cardinal Gibbons earned a penalty kick in the 73 minute, but Forbush keeper Kristian Russell stopped it to help seal the victory. Gibbons beat the Falcons 2-0 on a rainy field in late March last season.
“They were such a quality team that I felt it would be best for our team to schedule them this year,” James said. “They are the strongest team we’ve played this season.”
The Friday night road win, plus a 4-0 victory over West Stokes last Thursday and a 4-0 win at Wilkes Central on Tuesday, moved the Falcons to 10-0 overall. The Falcons are in control of the early Mountain Valley 1A/2A race with a 4-0 conference mark.
Lindsey Lineberry scored twice in the Wilkes Central win, once in each half. Sheridan Caudle and Jessica Baity added the other scores. Forbush led 2-0 at halftime.
Forbush is set to host East Wilkes on Friday. Next week will bring games against Ashe County and North Wilkes.
Swansboro, the team that beat the Falcons in last year’s state title game, also has a 1-0 win over Cardinal Gibbons on its resume this season. The Pirates have lost four games so far, though only one was to a 2A opponent.
First Flight, the 2008 state champion, is currently ranked No. 2 in the state behind Forbush. First Flight beat Swansboro 2-1, with its only loss so far to a Virginia opponent.
UPDATE: Forbush beat North Wilkes 9-0 in a Wednesday night conference game.