Staff Photo: Jonathan Phillips
Brookwood's Michelle Allen (20) celebrates with Washida Blackman and the rest of the Broncos after Blackman scored her second goal during their game against Parkview on Friday.
LILBURN — One goal typically decides Brookwood-Parkview soccer matches, so Megan Morrow wasn’t about to let this one get past her.
The Brookwood senior, seeing her goalkeeper on the ground and an open net beside her, had to go all out. She went hard to her left and cleared Kiki Nelson’s shot off the line, colliding with the goalpost in the process.
“I saw (Nelson) was about to score,” Morrow said of her 64th-minute play. “I thought, ‘She can’t score. This is our year.’”
Thanks to Morrow’s save and a pair of Washida Blackman goals, it was the Broncos’ year. At long last.
Visiting Brookwood beat Parkview 2-1 Friday night, giving the seniors their first-ever victory over their rivals. They were sixth-graders the last time that happened back in 2005, which also was the last time the Broncos won the region title.
But this victory also snapped that long drought, giving fifth-ranked Brookwood (13-3, 7-0) the Region 8-AAAAA championship.
“It’s been like one goal every single game against Parkview,” Blackman said. “So to finally do it shows how much heart we have this season.”
The Broncos’ 12th straight win was their biggest by far, providing a joy rarely seen in the series with Parkview. The Panthers had a 14-4-2 record against Brookwood in their past 20 meetings, not that any of that history mattered to the girls playing Friday night.
They did know the obvious, however.
“None of them had ever beaten Parkview, so this was huge,” said Brookwood girls coach Sarah Crawford, a senior goalkeeper for a Bronco team that split with Parkview back in 1997. “Especially to beat them here (at Parkview). They were very excited and very focused. With the region on the line and obviously getting to play Parkview, these are the games you live to play in.”
Blackman had her own personal challenge, too. Just a few minutes in, Parkview defender Cherrelle Jarrett moved from the central defense to mark Blackman, her Gwinnett Soccer Association Phoenix 93 Red teammate, on the outside.
“It was weird to play against her,” Blackman said.
The two Daily Post Super Six selections battled it out for the better part of the first half before Blackman finally broke through in the 33rd minute. Fellow senior Avery Lee slipped a nice pass near the top of the penalty box to Blackman, who weaved through the defense and beat Parkview goalie Asha Wright in a one-on-one situation.
Four minutes later, Blackman struck again. A Parkview clearance went out to midfield but Bronco defender Michelle Allen sent it right back into the offensive zone, and directly to Blackman. The Mercer signee, wide open in the center of the field, turned and scored the game’s second goal.
“Washida did what she needed to do,” Crawford said. “They were guarding her tight but she was able to break free a couple of times.”
The two-goal lead lasted less than two minutes, though. Parkview (9-8, 6-1) answered back off Alex Ober’s corner kick, which ended with Iris Gonzalez scoring after a scrum in front of the Bronco net.
But it was the last goal allowed by a Brookwood defense that features two seniors, Morrow and Kelsey Schaffernoth. Allen and Julia Bassell also stood out in the defense, which allowed only one serious chance after Parkview’s goal.
And Morrow staved that off with her save in front of the open net.
“It meant a lot to beat them,” Morrow said. “We play with them (in club soccer) and it’s even better because this is our senior year.”
Bronco-Panther boys postponed
Lightning and storms wiped out Friday night’s matchup between the fifth-ranked Brookwood boys and Parkview.
The match will be played today, with kickoff scheduled for 8 p.m.
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