Patriots Blank Scots in Girls' Soccer
A Pinecrest girls’ soccer team that has struggled to score goals found a variety of ways to put the ball in the net at Scotland County Monday night.
The Patriots, now 4-2-1 overall and 2-0 in the Southeastern Conference, nearly doubled their season goal total in the 6-0 victory over the Scots. It was their third win in a row after being held scoreless in the three matches before that.
“We finished pretty well tonight,” senior Bailey Pages said after scoring twice and contributing an assist. “I feel good about our next games coming up.”
For the first time in four years, the Scots were without scoring star Megan Brigman, now a freshman member of the team at UNC. With Mariotti Meyers and Kate Hieronymus controlling the midfield, the home team was in a defensive posture right from the start.
In the 14th minute, Lauren Corrigan pounced on the rebound off a shot by Kristen Phelps and scored the first goal. At the 29-minute mark, Antonia Meyers collected a loose ball in the Scot penalty area and deposited it high in the net for a 2-0 Patriot lead.
Pages got into the act just before halftime, dropping a corner kick in front of the goal that Hieronymus punched in with the side of her foot.
During the intermission, Patriot coach Todd Abbey asked his players to switch the point of attack twice on each possession. Pages deviated from that script to score the goal that made it 4-0, less than two minutes after the break.
The 2009 all-state player carried the ball down and across the field on a journey of about 50 yards. She eluded five or six defenders before unloading a 20-yard shot that goalkeeper Destinee Grove got a glove on, but couldn’t keep out of the net.
“I don’t know what came over me,” she said. “I just wanted to get some numbers on the board.”
A corner kick by Rachel Dokich led to Pages’ second goal on a chip shot over the goalkeeper’s head. Then in the final minute of the match, Phelps scored off the kind of buildup her coach spoke about at half-time.
Denied several times previously on outstanding saves by Grove, Phelps played a fast-paced give and go with fellow-freshman Jazz Jones before blasting the ball into the net to complete the scoring.
“Oh my gosh,” Abbey said, replaying the score in his mind. “What I liked was that it started with Rebecca (Dupre) in the back going outside to Heather (Brock), who put it into Kristen, who then played it out to Jazz. Jazz’s speed is crazy.”
Abbey was encouraged that so many different players got scoring opportunities. Nine took two or more shots. The Pats took 32 shots overall to just two for Scotland, now 3-3-1 and 1-1. Goalkeeper Sarah Dejak preserved the team’s third shutout with a lunging grab of a shot by Josie Yang in the 66th minute.
The Patriots entertain Purnell Swett in another conference match Wednesday at 7 p.m.
In Monday’s first match, the Pinecrest junior varsity team improved to 3-0 with a 7-0 win over Scotland. The goals were scored by Kelly Palmer (two), Hailey Robinson, Hailey Ray, Megan Thomas, Sarah Pressley and Viri Ballesteros. Jordan Bridgeman and Leah Frederique shared the goalkeeping.
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