Finally: Forrest’s goal lifts Fruita to first win of season
For a team that has struggled all year, Saturday was pure elation.
The Fruita Monument High School soccer team hadn’t scored a goal in eight games and hadn’t won a game all season.
Both streaks were broken Saturday at Walker Field.
When the referee blew his whistle to end the Wildcats’ 1-0 victory over Central, Fruita’s players got congratulatory hugs from parents, coaches and each other.
“We’ve had so much going against us, even in the last two weeks,” Fruita Monument coach Tracey Burke said. “So much stuff happened and it was just crazy — injuries and, just, other stuff happened, and the team pulled together like I’ve never seen them pull together.
“It was like every bad thing that happened made them stronger.”
The goal that broke the Wildcats’ scoreless streak came in the 31st minute, when Ashley Forrest chased down a through ball and put it past Central goalie Tayler Else.
“It feels great. It’s going to be this way from now on,” Forrest said about the goal. “I just remember sprinting as hard as I could, making a good check and getting it right between the goalie’s legs.”
Forrest’s hustle throughout the day marked an upswing in her performance.
“She had a couple of down games and all of a sudden she came back,” Burke said of Forrest. “It just looked like she had a fire in her that no one could put out. She was so much faster today than she has been in the past few games.”
Also helping Fruita was the performance of goalie Kylie Goetz, who stopped 12 shots.
Even when a ball from Stacy Kinnet came within inches of crossing the goal line in the second half, Goetz was able to get to the ball.
“I have no idea how she saved that goal,” Burke said. “I thought for sure (it was in) and she ended up with it.”
Central kept the ball in its possession for the majority of the game and limited Fruita to five shots.
Burke hopes the Wildcats can take the emotional high of the game and channel it into the final few games of the year.
“We haven’t been able to buy a goal all season and we finally put one away. It’s the feeling I’ve been wanting them to have all season,” she said. “I keep saying, ‘Once you get the first one, the next one comes a little bit easier and the next one comes a little bit easier.’
“We finally got that one.”
Fruita (1-9-1, 1-5 Southwestern League) plays Montrose on Thursday at Canyon View Park.
Central (6-5, 2-4 SWL) plays Grand Junction on Thursday at Long Family Memorial Park.