Patriot Girls Get Rainy Victory Over Bucks
After scoring 10 or more goals in the process of vanquishing its first three conference opponents, Pinecrest coach Todd Abbey welcomed facing a team that could provide a defensive challenge.
The Patriot girls defeated Hoke County 5-1 in the rain at the John Williams Athletic Complex on Wednesday, improving to 5-3 overall and 4-0 in the Mid-Southeastern Conference.
Junior Bailey Pages recorded a hat trick against the defensive-minded Bucks. Another junior, Sarah Senior, and sophomore Kate Hieronymus, also found the net for the home team.
"I thought they were very well organized, which was good for us," the Patriot coach said of the Bucks. "They actually gave us some pressure and their goalkeeper (Janae Aiken) was outstanding. It was difficult conditions and hard to play our style of play which is possession because of the skipping ball. It was good for us to get a game in the rain and have to adjust to it."
Pages scored twice within a period of a little more than a minute midway through the first half to provide the Patriots all of the scoring they needed.
First, she put away a rebound off a shot by teammate Lauren Corrigan that was set up by header from midfielder Kate Hieronymus. Moments later, right-back Megan Rock led her with a pass down the right wing that she deposited in the net from about 20 yards away.
The Pats took a 3-0 lead to the intermission after Senior finished a rebound off her own shot.
A Hoke player was not allowed to penetrate the home team's penalty area until the 51st minute when Patriot goalkeeper Sarah Dejak easily grabbed a ball headed by Janis Hoaglin. Buck standout Erika Dowdy got her team on the board in the 56th minute when she took advantage of a defensive miscue and beat Dejak, making it 4-1.
Hieronymus, who was active in building the attack all evening, completed the scoring with a strike from about 30 yards away in the 73rd minute.
Lyndsey Anderson is the only senior on a Patriot squad that started off 1-3 after going 19-2-1 a year ago. The mid-fielder on the left side spent her first three varsity seasons along side players she grew up with in soccer. She is encouraged by the team's rebound from a rough start against stiff competition.
"This year was a big change and I was a little worried," she said after Wednesday's match. "But even though they're younger, they've really stepped up and showed that we're as good as we were last year."
Abbey also thinks the team that includes eight sophomores and three freshmen is becoming more confident after being shutout by Wakefield, third-ranked East Chapel Hill and Terry Sanford earlier.
"I think the difference in mentality is they know they're going to win games like this (Hoke)," he said. "Whether they are or not isn't even a thought in their minds. The difference in East Chapel Hill is hopefully we win that game. I'm trying to get that same mentality from the conference into the other games."
Hoke County fell to 3-5 and 2-2 with the loss. Pinecrest's next match is on Monday at Jack Britt.
In Wednesday's preliminary match, the Pinecrest junior varsity team improved to 5-2 with a 7-0 victory over Hoke.
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