Upper Level: Sandhills Magic Score First Win
Goals by Michele Lynch and Lauren Corrigan helped the Sandhills Magic celebrate its first win of the season in a recent match involving an SYSL team. Included also are reports on the Heat and the Vipers.
It's been a roller coaster ride for Sandhills Heat this season. After a strong start in pre-season tournament play and some early season success, Heat struggled through four matches to drop to 2-5-1 in U15 Classic competition.
Heat went cold in a 4-0 loss to Triangle Futbol Club White, surrendering two goals in each half.
A week later it looked like Heat had the fires lit once again until Capital Area Soccer League Black charged up the middle twice in the first half to grab a 2-0 advantage at the break. Anna Pilson struck a hard shot to the back of the net with five minutes to go, pulling Heat within a goal to avoid a shutout, but Heat trailed 2-1 at the finish.
Triangle United Soccer Association Silver sneaked a shot into the lower left corner of the goal in the closing minutes to sting Heat 1-0 for another loss.
After three consecutive road losses, Heat set out to reverse the trend with a road trip to TFC Green. Attacking from the wings and up the middle, Heat attacked TFC with a 20 yard bullet fired by Anna Pilson that bypassed the keeper to stake a 1-0 lead for Heat.
Continuing to press, Heat posted a security goal when Taylor Smith connected on a cross from Pilson, to claim the match at 2-0 and improve their standing to 2-4-1.
Heat was on the road last weekend, hoping to defuse the Wilson Explosion. That plan backfired after Wilson sneaked a shot in to open the scoring, then fired twice on fast breaks to put Heat down 3-0. Heat completed their season on Thursday evening against division leader Capital Area Soccer League Spartan United White.
The Sandhills Vipers ran into some rough sailing in a 5-2 loss to the Cape Fear Breakers in a U12 Classic coastal foray in Wilmington last weekend.
Cory Efird posted a pair of points with a goal in each half, first on a feed off the right side from John Roger Moore, then on a fast break down the right sideline. The Vipers held the Breakers to a single goal in the final period but couldn't recover from the four shot surge that knocked them down in the first half.
Garrett Klumpar and Adam Howard combined for 10 saves in the goal for the Vipers. The Vipers travel to Apex Saturday to challenge Carolina Classic White.
Sandhills Magic celebrated their first win of the season with a 2-0 win over Triangle United Soccer Association Silver in U14 Classic competition. Magic could taste the win a day earlier in a match with the Greenville Stars that ended in a 2-2 draw.
Michele Lynch and Lauren Corrigan were the workhorses in Saturday's clash in Greenville. Trailing 1-0 after ten minutes on the field, Magic evened things up when Corrigan zipped a pass through to the left sideline where Lynch sidestepped a defender then creased the upper right corner to knot the score at 1-all.
Corrigan put Magic out front in the second half when she pushed up the middle past several defenders, staked a claim to a spot in front of the goal and fired a shot into the net off the left side of the keeper. A Greenville penalty kick with less than two minutes to play erased Magic's margin and knotted the score to end the match at 2-2.
Shuffling some positions worked for Magic as the team turned in their best offensive performance of the season. Midfielder Kate Hieronymus sparked the midfield play and Sam Parks showed marked improvement and outstanding speed on the left wing.
The offensive effort was balanced by a strong defensive showing from Alexa Zoellner and Jill McIlwain. Sarah Dejak collected eight saves in the goal for Magic.
Magic got the win that had eluded them with a 2-0 shutout over TUSA the following day. Corrigan and Lynch repeated their successes from the day before. Corrigan Xeroxed her run from the previous day with another unassisted jaunt up the middle to slide the shot in past the Silver keeper.
Lynch converted a corner kick launched by Hieronymus in the second half for the insurance goal that locked up the win. Strong support from Rachel Stewart, Sarah Senior and McIlwain contributed to Magic's best team effort of the season. Hieronymus added an extra degree of defensive punch with some smooth transition play.
Dejak earned the shutout at the goal with 8 saves. Magic hosts TUSA Gold Saturday at Morganton Road.
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