Forest Park romps past Mt. Zion, 7-0

By Jeffery Armstrong

After having their first three games canceled, the Forest Park Lady Panthers soccer team was ready to play somebody besides themselves. All that extra practice must have paid off for Lady Panthers because they routed the Mt. Zion Lady Bulldogs 7-0 Wednesday evening at Mt. Zion High. Forest Park is now 1-0 while Mt. Zion falls to 0-3.

Freshman Guadalupe Ortega scored four goals for Forest Park and senior Judy Ramires had one goal and an assist to help lead the Lady Panthers to the huge victory.

"I'm very excited for the girls; they did really well and I hope they keep it up. It's a long season and we definitely have some things to work on, but I'm proud of them tonight," said Forest Park head coach Shannon Brown. "I'm glad they played better than they practiced."

Forest Park led 2-0 at the half, getting goals from Ortega and senior Alondra Cepeda. The second half started a bit slowly for Forest Park, thanks to good play defensively from Mt. Zion players Brandi Heathington, Amber Courtney and Sarice Holley. Despite getting into Forest Park territory a couple of times in the second half, Mt. Zion couldn't score or get good shots on goal.

Mt. Zion looked to have one good scoring opportunity, but Forest Park junior Shanice Finch came in and deflected the ball deep downfield to keep the Lady Bulldogs at bay. That led to Ramires' assist to teammate Vanessa Nevarez for a goal to increase the lead to 3-0 and then Ramires herself scored for a 4-0 Forest Park lead.

"It feels good to win, but I think I could've done better. I could've gotten more goals or more assists, but I pulled a muscle in my leg in the second half," Ramires said. "As far as this team goes, I think we can make our region tournament this year."

Ortega closed out the scoring for Forest Park by scoring the team's next three goals. The freshman, who's been playing soccer since she was eight, played with intensity and experience far beyond her years.

"I heard my mother yelling my name so I had to play well today," said Ortega. "I'm happy to score four goals in a game and we won."