The Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School girls soccer team won with Grace on Tuesday.
Freshman forward Grace Forsyth scored with 8:39 left in the second overtime, giving the Bulldogs a 1-0 victory over West Deptford in the NJSIAA Group II state semifinals at St. Augustine Prep.
The Bulldogs (15-7-1) will meet Bernards, a 4-2 winner over Ramsey in a shootout, in the Group II championship game 5:30 p.m. Saturday on the artificial surface at The College of New Jersey in Ewing.
Forsyth netted her team-leading 13th goal of the season, connecting from 18 yards into the middle of the net and igniting a celebration among the Bulldogs and their fans. Forsyth converted off a feed from sophomore midfielder-forward Michaela Borneo on the Bulldogs’ second shot of the final overtime.
“I just ran and got open,” Forsyth said. “She (Borneo) ran down the left sideline and got me the ball. It’s unreal. I am a freshman. I can’t believe I was going to score the winning goal. This feels amazing. I can’t even believe it. This could not have been a better season.”
Forsyth, a natural right footer, used her most proficient foot to score.
“I felt it would go in,” the 5-foot-1, 98-pounder said. “I hit it solidly. I am a forward so my function is to score goals. I didn’t feel a lot of pressure to score tonight. I am pretty quick. I have good vision.”
Rumson coach Mary Beth Coleman said she is impressed with Forsyth’s play.
“She is a great addition to our program,” Coleman said. “She has a lot of knowledge. She is in the right place at the right time. She is another weapon on our team. Her ability to score goals makes it difficult for the other teams to match up with us. When she shoots, she is usually right on. The pass was right on the money.”
A few minutes after the victory, Coleman told her team, “Great job. I am so proud of all of you.”
With 9:06 left in the second overtime, West Deptford sophomore forward Sam Budd, who leads the Eagles in goals (19) and total points (46), was injured in a collision with Rumson freshman goalie Samantha Beaudreault while atttempting to score from 10 yards. Budd missed the remainder of the game. Beaudreault finished the match with five saves.
Budd suffered her first injury of the match with 6:08 remaining in the first overtime when she sustained an injured left hamstring. She returned to action a couple of minutes later.
With 9:52 remaining in regulation, a Rumson player was taken down in the box, resulting in a penalty kick. Senior midfielder Schuyler DeBree lashed the kick toward the lower right corner where West Deptford sophomore goalie Maggie Davis made a diving save to her left.
Rumson nearly scored on its first shot on goal of the match. With 32:16 left in the opening half, DeBree found the back of the net. However, the goal was nullified by an offside penalty.
“We had many opportunities to score,” Coleman said. “We’re just happy to be able to capitalize on one. This game was a gut check. “
“We had real good chances to score,” Forsyth said. “I knew we’d pull through in the end.”
Rumson hopes to win its second Group state title in school history. The Bulldogs captured the Group II diadem in 2008. Earlier this season, Rumson won the Central Group II championshp as the seventh seed.
“We’re jelling at the right time,” said Coleman, the Bulldogs’ eighth-year coach. “We’re playing with heart and determination. We don’t want our season to end.”
Coleman praised the Eagles (17-5-1).
“They did not back down,” she said. “They won the 50-50 balls. Kudos to them. They played a great game.”
|Rumson (15-7-1)||0||0||0 1-||1|
|West Deptford (17-5-1)||0||0||0 0-||0|
Goal/Assist: Forsyth (Borneo) 91:21; Saves: (RFH) Beaudreault 5, (WD) Davis 10; Shots: Rumson 13-6