Oh So Close: Lady Pats Celebrate Strong Year
A week after the Pinecrest girls’ soccer team suffered a 1-0 state quarterfinal loss to Hoggard in overtime, the match was still on many of the players’ minds.
Members of coach Todd Abbey’s squad took note of Hoggard’s semifinal victory over a Leesville Road squad that was ranked No. 1 in the state, and first in the nation in an early-season ESPN poll. Then the team from Wilmington lost to North Mecklenburg on penalty kicks in the state championship contest.
“Oh man, you don’t know how it felt. It was so awful,” Patriot senior Rebecca Dupre said of her reaction to the way the state playoffs wound up. “It was just like we were so close. We were almost there. Hopefully the team next year will get it.”
Last week, team members and their supporters celebrated a 19-4-1 season that saw the Patriots reach the fourth round of the playoffs for the second time in the program’s history. The team went 12-0 in the Southeastern Conference and also won the conference tournament, winning a league title for the 13th year in a row.
Abbey was also thinking about how close the Patriots came against Hoggard. A mistake by the Viking defense nearly resulted in a second-half Patriot goal that could have changed everything.
“Our true goal here is to win a state championship in soccer, whether it be the boys or the girls,” he said. “The Hoggard game was tough. It would have been different if they had beaten us in the run of play, but the game was back and forth, and I honestly thought we had the better pure opportunities.”
Dupre collected a bunch of honors, including all-conference and all-Region 4 recognition in addition to making the all-state team. Junior Sarah Dejak recorded 16 shutouts and was selected conference and region Goalkeeper of the Year. Abbey was the conference and region Coach of the Year, and Ray Blatz was named region Assistant Coach of the Year.
Also selected to the all-conference team were seniors Meagan Rock and Bailey Pages, juniors Kate Hieronymus and Mariotti Meyers and sophomore Ally Parziale. Hieronymus, Meyers and Rock were also all-region selections.
Pages, an all-state selection in 2009, and Dejak received all-conference and all-region recognition for the third time.
The Patriots took an 11-match winning streak into the Hoggard match, outscoring their opponents 44-2 during that period. Included in the wins were the only two losses handed to Terry Sanford all season.
Overall, the Pats held a 90-12 advantage in goals. Dupre, Rock, senior Mary Barkley, junior Beth Hieronymus and freshman Jazz Jones were the backs in a stingy defense. The leading goal scorer was sophomore Kristen Phelps.
Abbey’s squad finished eighth in the final 4A state rankings. The team’s four losses included one to Leesville Road and two to Hoggard, teams that were ranked No. 1 and No. 2 most of the season.
Dupre has signed to play soccer at Converse College in the fall. Rachel Dokich, the Valedictorian of the Pinecrest class of 2010, plans to attend Carnegie Mellon. The college choices for the other seniors include Pages, Appalachian State, Mary Barkley, High Point, and Rock, UNC-Chapel Hill.
Team awards: Most Valuable Player – Sarah Dejak; Rookie of the Year – Jazz Jones; Most Improved Player – Michele Lynch; Offensive Player of the Year – Kristen Phelps; Defensive Player of the Year – Rebecca Dupre; Players Choice Award – Mariotti Meyers; Tony Buckminster Award for Leadership and Excellence – Meagan Rock.
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