Panthers swept by Knights in showdown for first place

The Carolina Forest boys and girls soccer teams had a chance to take first place in Region VI-AAAA on Friday night but had to settle for second after suffering one-goal losses to West Florence.

The Lady Panthers led 3-2 late in regulation before the Lady Knights managed to tie it up with 11 minutes remaining. West Florence scored again with 6 minutes remaining to take a 4-3 lead.

But Carolina Forest was awarded a penalty kick on a late foul in the box and Erika Gazzoni hammered it home to send the game into overtime. West Florence scored in the second overtime for the 5-4 victory.

The Carolina Forest boys suffered a similar fate in a 2-1 defeat at the hands of the Knights, who earned a series split with the Panthers on the season. West Florence led 1-0 at halftime on a goal by Brooks Asger but tied it up on Peter Gennero’s goal to open the second half.

But West Florence (5-1 region) had the final say as Kelso Wright scored the game-winner at the 57-minute mark. He got the deciding shot past Carolina Forest goalkeeper Paul Blayton, who made fives saves on the night for the Panthers (6-7 overall, 4-2 region).

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