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Forge Athletics

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Forge Athletics

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Game Summaries & Headlines.


8 months ago by Jim Hill - The Voice of the Eagles


Let’s roll it back to Monday night March 26th, a Commonwealth District clash with the Massaponax Panthers at their house. The Forge Eagles spent that night chasing the Panthers and the score prior to falling to Ponax 10-9. It was the first loss for the 2018 Eagles and as the fans walked to their cars, talk of “wake up call” flowed through the Spotsylvania air. The team’s effort that night was in question and it was a game where Forge Coach Phil Fant spent the night rotating his players in and out of the lineup in search of a spark.

The rematch on Thursday night at Eagles Stadium was a different outcome and a much better effort. The Forge was led by attack Brando Sizemore who was “en fuego” the majority of the game. The senior tossed in 6 goals on the night to lead the “good guys”. Jake Wilhelm, and Tyler Howard registered 3 goals and 4 assists apiece, while Gavin Grainger (2 goals, 1 assist) and Drew Fields (1 goal and an assist) rounded out the home team score sheet.

For Massaponax it was the “Fabulous Baker Boys” putting on a show on the Eagle stadium grass as Jay (6 goals, 1 assist) and brother Chris (2 goals, 3 assists) were the show for the Panthers.

The game began as a back and forth affair with many Eagle fans remembering the last time the two teams got together. The Eagles opened the scoring when Wilhelm found Sizemore in the middle of the box and the Brando found the left corner or the twine to put the Forge on top 1-0. Massaponax would answer 56 seconds later as Jay Baker found the back of the net ripping a shot over shoulder of Eagle starting goalie Anthony Merida to tie the game at 1-1. Baker found the nylon again scoring his second goal with 6:18 left in the first quarter, putting the Panthers up 2-1.

Wilhelm got it evened up just 15 seconds later scoring an unassisted goal, but THE OTHER Baker added his name to the score sheet with 1:56 left in the quarter and when the two teams went to the break, the Panthers led 3-2.

In the second quarter the Eagles continued to pepper the Panther goal but the defense started to make its mark on the game. During one sequence, the Panthers attempted a crossing pass in the box to a wide open player in front of Merida. The pass was on target until it found the stick of Wilhelm who took it out of harm’s way. Another Ponax scoring chance was foiled by the Eagles Merida when Baker snapped a low shot that the lanky net minder scooped up like a magician in a Las Vegas nightclub. Offensively the Forge got three goals from Sizemore, and a goal apiece from Grainger and Howard to head to the halftime locker room with a 7-4 lead.  

In the second half the onslaught of the Baker Boys continued but the Eagles countered with 4 goals from the law firm of Howard (2 goals), Wilhelm, Grainger and Sizemore that gave the “good guys” a 11-6 lead heading into “winning time”.

The Panthers Jay Baker hit the back of the net 43 seconds into the final frame and then with 9:46 left in the contest to close out the scorers for the visitors. Just like that it was an 11-8 Eagle lead until Howard fed Sizemore for his final goal of the night with 9:29 left. Drew Fields potted an unassisted goal with 7:47 left to pad the lead to 13-8. The Forge put this one in the W column when Fields founds Wilhelm for a goal with 4:10 left and Tyler Howard wrapped up the night with an unassisted goal with 3:48 left to give the Eagles a revenge 15-8 district win.

The Forge will hit the road over the next week with battles with W.T. Woodson on Saturday @ South County High School, and in-county battles with Stafford (Monday) and Brooke Point (Wednesday). They will return home on Monday May 7th when they host Mountain View on Senior Night.

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