Ravenwood defeated Houston in the TSSAA Class AA Girls Soccer State semifinal game Thursday at Siegel Soccer Complex in a rainy affair.
The win propels the Raptors to the finals this weekend and a chance to bring home the title trophy to their school.
It was an extremely gut-wrenching battle from start to finish.
There was constant rain causing the field conditions to be so bad the game had to be moved to a new field before the start.
And even with the move the fields were nearly impossible to navigate and hold your footing on. The soccer balls would barely bounce as the field was flooded.
But neither team would let these conditions stop their quest to become state champions.
Houston controlled most of the pace in the first half with Ravenwood scrapping hard to take away momentum. Both teams never backed off the physical contact when setting up or defending plays.
And in the second half it was Ravenwood who took control of the games pace. And it showed in the stats. Houston had 12 total shots, seven in the first half and five in the second. The Raptors had 11 total shots with 10 being in the second half.
Ravenwood scored the game's lone goal with 3:44 remaining when Marcelo Forero hit the ball past the Houston goalkeeper Madison Dismuke and in the back of the net, causing an eruption from the Lady Raptor bench and fans.
Ravenwoods Head Coach Brandon Mead was elated after his teams win.
"It was a muddy one. A sloppy one," he said. "It took me back to my first year of coaching when I played in these conditions. I don't think I've ever done this with these girls in these conditions."
Mead takes the team to the state finals game in his first year at the helm of Ravenwood's program.
"We just talked about believing," he said. "We knew it was going to be ugly. We knew we had to throw everything at them, our bodies included. And these girls continued to believe, and it was all heart today. It was all heart.
"It was just magic. I love these girls."
Marcela Forero, who scored the game winner with her only shot on goal, expressed her feelings on the victory.
"We worked really hard for this and it feels really good," she said. "I feel like all our hard work paid off. We were battling the entire game. And this was a really weird game with the conditions, but we really fought hard, and we made it to the end. And I'm really proud of us."
Faith Vanston once again was solid at goalkeeper. She had nine saves as she timed her defense and dove on the muddy turf several times to block Houston shots from scoring.
"I feel great, and amazing," Vanston said. "We knew from last year we wanted to beat this team because they beat us last year. And it was a good game and everything is good."
Ravenwood will face off with their archrivals Brentwood in another Battle of the Woods for the Class AAA state soccer championship on Saturday at Siegel's stadium.