Forest Park 4, Gar-Field 3
Forest Park forward Latrice Lee has found earning quality playing time this season a challenge. Scoring the overtime-winner that may have turned around her team's season looked relatively easy.
The freshman forward's header in the final minute of extra time provided a fitting end to a frantic finish in No. 9 Forest Park's 4-3 win over Gar-Field last night in Woodbridge.
"If you relax out there and go for it, you'll win," Lee said. "It's hard for me being a freshman on varsity, trying to stay on varsity and actually play. It wasn't really a big deal, well it was a big deal, but I was just playing."
The Bruins (6-2-2, 3-1 AAA Cardinal District) trailed 2-0 with just more than four minutes to play. However, things began to unravel quickly for Gar-Field (6-4-2, 2-1-1), which would have earned a top seed in the district tournament with a win or a tie.
Instead, the Bruins' Courtney Portell knocked in a loose ball to cut the lead to 2-1 with 4 minutes 20 seconds to play and Ashleigh Blumer tied the score at 2 on a penalty kick with less than two minutes to play in regulation.
"As soon as I saw the penalty kick, I grabbed the ball. I wanted it. I don't think I even breathed, or knew what I was going to do with [the shot]," Blumer said. "Going into overtime we definitely had the edge and the motivation."
Victoria Damren scored early in the sixth minute of extra time to give the Bruins their first lead at 3-2, only to have Gar-Field's Kendall Irby tie the score again with a header.
"It's a shame," Indians Coach Michelle McDonald said. "The kids showed a lot heart, played through it and how we come out from here will tell us what kind of team we have, because this just takes a lot of breath out of you."
The boys' game featured a dramatic finish of its own as Gar-Field's Jusufu Barclay was taken down in the penalty box on a breakaway in the 80th minute, setting up the winning penalty kick by Mark Close in the Indians' 2-1 win over Forest Park.
The Bruins, who dropped their second one-goal decision to Gar-Field this season, tied the score at 1 when Terrie Kweifio directed a soft header into the back of the net with 4:20 to play in the game.