KERNERSVILLE — The West Forsyth soccer team, struggling to find any momentum in the second half Tuesday night, found it in the form of a goal from senior Mason Paschold to defeat East Forsyth 1-0 at Cash Elementary School in the first Central Piedmont 4-A game for both teams.
East Forsyth (7-4, 0-1) dominated the first 10 to 15 minutes of the second half, but senior Max Fuerher served a shot across the goal box and Paschold fired it in at 69:01 for the lone goal of the game.
“He crossed the ball in and I lost my man in the middle, and I just one-time volleyed it to the top,” Paschold said. “I didn’t think it was going to go in, but it went right under the bar. It’s perfect.”
Coach Jeffrey Williams of the Titans (10-2-1, 1-0) said he called for the play.
“It’s some fashion of a normal backside ball that was a good finish,” he said. “It was a good ball in and we were lucky that Mason finished it.”
The way Paschold scored is something that first-year Coach Nick Pizzino of East Forsyth was concerned about.
“I knew they were good at set pieces, so we were trying to avoid the set pieces,” he said. “It just so happens that’s what they scored off of was a set piece.
“We’ve been working on set pieces just because I could see some flaws there. The biggest thing − just didn’t stay goal side where we needed to. They’re a good team. They move the ball around well.”
Paschold has been in the program for four years and Williams knows he can count on him.
“Him and all the seniors − I think in the last two or three weeks I’ve seen a change and they’ve taken more ownership of the team,” Williams said. “(I) challenge them in ways that they know and they don’t know. But overall, it’s a good thing because I can’t be on the field. They’re the ones on the field.
So it’s been nice for him lead that charge with all the seniors, and it’s just stepped up another notch. To get where we want to be we’ve got to step up some more.”
Even with Paschold’s goal there were still nearly 11 minutes left, and the Eagles had a handful of scoring opportunities to try and tie the game. The best may have come on a hand ball just outside the 18-yard goal box. Austin Wickstrom took the direct kick and just missed a goal.
“When we get back there it’s just defend, defend, defend,” Paschold said. “No. 18, Richmond Griner, made a great save off the goal line. It was just defended.”
Leading by one goal was tenuous.
“They have some quality players that can put it in, so that was a little stressful,” Williams said. “But we battled through it and lucky that we did.”
The Eagles realized they missed some scoring opportunities.
“This is a tough conference,” Pizzino said. “It’s hard to start off with West because they’re such a good team. But I think it’s a pretty good measuring stick for where we can be in the conference, for sure.”
East Forsyth will play at Glenn on Thursday night.
“This game doesn’t define our season,” Pizzino said. “You know it hurts to lose games like this because I felt like we had our chances, but it doesn’t define you. So we’ve got a lot of games ahead of us and you just never know what’s going to happen with injuries and different stuff like that. I still feel really good about our team.”
West Forsyth plays host to Davie County on Thursday night.
“It’s five weeks of going at it,” Williams said. “So it’s, I guess The Hunt for Red October.”