Lambert varsity boys took a big step toward another Region 5-7A championship Monday, winning a thrilling 2-1 victory in overtime over Forsyth Central. Senior Hayden Fontana netted the winner with six minutes left to play.
This was an epic struggle. Due to weather problems, the match was scheduled and re-scheduled for three separate days and played over two.
The game was first scheduled for March 8th, but never played due to a lightning storm.
They tried again on March 15th. Just two minutes into the contest, the Longhorns took an early lead on a goal by Yeonsung Lee, assisted by Fontana. It was a seesaw battle after that until a Central player drew a foul in the Lambert penalty box in the waning minutes of the first half. The Bulldogs converted the penalty for the first and only goal Lambert has yielded this season. 1-1 at halftime.
Neither team scored, despite several great chances for the ‘Horns, in the second half. With only 6:19 left in the game, lightning forced the teams from the field and forced another postponement until Monday.
When they resumed Monday, neither team could score in the remaining 6:19, forcing the Longhorns’ first overtime match of the season. Lambert controlled the ball and much of the play in overtime, but couldn’t score. Penalty kicks loomed as the clock wound down to seven minutes remaining.
Then, suddenly, the Longhorns counterattacked, bursting into the offensive zone with senior Thomas Powers streaking past his defender and down the left sideline. He lofted a cross, high and true, over the Bulldog defense and the keeper. Hayden Fontana, all alone at the right post, brought the ball down and slipped it past the keeper and into the net. LAMBERT 2, FORSYTH CENTRAL 1 with just over six minutes remaining.
Enter the Lambert defense, which had stifled the Bulldog attackers throughout the overtime. Trey Kirksey, Harry Maughan, Noah Sivinski, and Jay Patterson showed—once again—why they may be the stingiest defender group in Class 7A. And, with the game on the line, the defenders and keeper Chris Smith—once again--did not yield. The clock hit 0.0 and the Longhorns (9-0-0) had done it again. Kudos to Forsyth Central (7-3-0), which gave the ‘Horns their stiffest test to date.
Tuesday night, Lambert travels to 4A West Hall (4-2-0) for a non-conference battle against the Spartans. Kickoff is at 7:30 p.m.
The Longhorns return home for a huge match Friday against archrivals South Forsyth (4-3-1). Lambert will be celebrating Youth Night, so bring the kids for great fun and some great high school soccer. Kickoff is at 8 p.m. HOOK ‘EM!