SPRING HILL — Defense on one end and potent offense on the other was the recipe for Springstead's Class 5A, District 7 title Thursday night.
The Eagles shut out Forest 3-0 behind strong defense from Alyson Brady and the return of leading scorer Tara Vasquez.
Brady, one of two junior captains for Springstead (15-3), played stellar defense.
She helped lock down the usually strong Forest offensive attack. The Wildcats (12-6-1) had shown that potency earlier this season when they defeated the Eagles 5-1.
Vasquez, who missed the semifinal victory over Central, returned from her right foot injury to score the game's second goal unassisted. She stole the ball right in front of the Forest net and made a move on Wildcats keeper Chanel Blanchard to score her 13th goal of the season.
"I scored with the foot that I hurt, so I had a lot of confidence after that," Vasquez said. "Coach (Polo Furlong) wanted me to sit out that last game (against Central) so I'd be good and ready for this one."
After the final goal was scored by Cristina Passafaro from 25 yards out in the second half, things got a little bit more aggressive between the teams.
More fouls were called and the game's only yellow card was assessed to Forest's Shana Krysalka with 11:37 remaining as officials tried to maintain order.
The win gives Springstead home field advantage for the first round of regionals, which begin Jan. 28.
The Eagles are 9-1 at Booster Stadium, a fact that hasn't slipped past Furlong.
"We definitely have more confidence on our home field," Furlong said. "There's a big difference — the drive (on the road) is hard and we're more focused."