Boys Soccer Plays Home Opener Against Stafford

Forge player Keith Skudi (‘23) plays a long ball to  Pitts.

Kieran Murphy

Forge player Keith Skudi (‘23) plays a long ball to Pitts.

Abby Burtner, Sports Editor

This Tuesday night, the boys varsity soccer team played Stafford at home, the second home game of the season. Returning captain Joe Liebe (‘23) and keeper Nathan Cox (‘23) also made their senior debuts during the game.

“It was good to be back and I was excited to get to play this season, we were all hoping for a win,” Liebe said.

During the game Forge maintained possession 80%-20% and started the first 20 minutes confident. Within 15 minutes, a couple of yellow cards were given out to both teams, including to Liebe who was playing defensive midfield.

Many combination plays were made and shots taken within these first 20 minutes, but the team started to fizzle out towards the end of the first half with no sub rotations. The Eagles had many opportunities within the 18 yard box, and winger Keith Skudi (‘23) was a promising offensive threat winning multiple 1v1’s. However, the team couldn’t find a way to put the ball in the back of the net, missing all shots.

“I beat my man every time, but nobody was in the box to finish my cross,” Skudi claimed.

Forge’s defense was strong and shut down most, if not all, offensive attacks down without many shots on goal, including a couple of tackles from defender Daniel Ndayi (‘24).

Towards the end of the first half, players were getting snippy, with fouls on both teams. By the end of the first half, Forge outshot Stafford about 10-4.

Following half time, the score was still 0-0 and both teams were eager to change that. Starting off aggressive, Forge maintained the same energy they exemplified in the beginning of the game. Long balls were played from the back by captain Frantz Fulcher (‘24) who was searching to find an outlet to Skudi and fellow winger Malachi Pitts (‘24).

“We were all kind of getting desperate for some type of opportunity to score, but there was nobody there to put it in the back of the net,” Fulcher said.

Just like the first half, there were combinations of plays that easily could’ve resulted in goals for Forge, but nobody was there to finish. The rest of the second half remained the same, up until the last two minutes of regular time when Stafford made a handball in the box.

The entire team jumped around excited, as well as the crowd. After arguing for the kick, Pitts stepped up and decided to take the penalty. The entire crowd fell silent, besides the nervous whispers. Pitts went high down the middle, with the Stafford goalie diving to the right. The ball bounced directly off the top bar and down onto the goal line, Pitts missed. Stafford erupted with happiness, as the entire Forge crowd let out disappointed sighs.

After this 0-0 regular time score, the referee called overtime with two 5 minute halves. Unfortunately, the score didn’t change and the game ended in a tie.

“We could’ve performed better as a team, but we have one more chance to play them and things will be different then,” Fulcher concluded.