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STATE FINALS: Lady Wolves fall in PKs to West Forsyth for 7A title

By Jeff Hart | Video by Seth Chapman
Posted 8:25PM on Friday 10th May 2024 ( 2 months ago )

DULUTH, Ga. — The Buford girls' quest for a first-ever soccer title once again fell just short.

West Forsyth outlasted the Lady Wolves 7-6 in a marathon eight-round penalty kick phase to capture the Class 7A championship match at Duluth High School on Friday.

The Lady Wolves (20-1-1) got a first half goal from Sabrie Vargas to erase a 1-0 West Forsyth lead. But despite outshooting the Lady Wolverines 21-6 in the second half and two overtimes, they could not win it in regulation.

It was the first title match for Buford since 2017 and just the second-ever for the program.

Abby Kilman, Yazzie Vargas, Addison Attaway, Kaitlin White, Ella Attaway, Shea Owings and all scored in the PK phase for Buford. Alina Pope made one save in the PKs for the Lady Wolves but West Forsyth keeper Adelei Utz made two saves and also converted a PK of her own to help seal its third title in four seasons.

Buford coach Megan Hill said it might as well have been decided by a coin flip.

“It really is like a coin flip when you get to PKs,” she said. “It sucks to lose that way but Alina did a great job. It’s just tough when you get to PKs.”

After West Forsyth (21-0-2) took a 1-0 lead in the opening five minutes, Buford controlled the action for most of the rest of the match. But they would tie in the 23rd minute on a beautiful goal by Sabrie Vargas.

In the second half, the Lady Wolves continued to push the attack. They outshot West Forsyth 13-5 and produced 3-1 corners.

Their best chances came in the 57th minute when White had a nifty flick over Utz from 5-yards out. But the shot trickled just to the right of the post. One minute later, Utz made a diving save on Evany Torres’s 15-yard blast.

Off a corner in the 66th minute Utz made another diving save and a Kaylen Brown rebound sailed high. In the 75th minute, Torres was not able to connect on a one-timer in front of the goal from 5-yards off a beautiful cross from Sophia Martelli.

In the first overtime, Brown, Torres, and Kilman all had shots knocked down by Utz.

Despite the heartbreaking loss, Hill said it was the kind of season they’ll all remember. They allowed just four goals in 22 games all season and were ranked No. 1 virtually the entire way.

But she said ultimately it’s about being able to score. Following West Forsyth’s goal, they outshot the Lady Wolverines 31-10.

“These girls came a long way from the beginning of the season to now,” she said. “They won as a team and we lost as a team. I thought we controlled the action, especially in the second half and overtimes. We told them it would come down to whether they could finish.

“We were close but we just were not there (in the right positions) at the times we needed to be there.”

Buford's Sabrie Vargas (white) battles a pair West Forsyth defenders during the Lady Wolves' Class 7A title match at Duluth High School on Friday.
A dejected Buford girls team congratulated a large Buford contingent following a heartbreaking loss in PKs (7-6) to West Forsyth in the Class 7A championship match at Duluth High School on Friday. (Photo/Seth Chapman)

http://accesswdun.com/article/2024/5/1241996/state-finals-buford-girls-5-10-24

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