PHS Soccer Shuts Out Garner; Advances in States
Dane Nelsen recorded two goals and an assist, leading the Pinecrest boys’ soccer team to a 4-0 first round 4A state playoff victory over visiting Garner Tuesday evening.
Midfielder Kevin Grasso was the catalyst of an offense that kept the Trojans on their heels almost from the start. He slipped a ball through the defense to Nelsen for a shot from the right side that found the net in the sixth minute. Less than a minute later, the senior provided Nelsen with an almost identical opportunity, but the shot went over the goal.
Goalkeeper Mitchell Dotson prevented an almost certain score by the Trojans’ Connor Torruella in the 13th minute when he stuffed his breakaway attempt. He received a kick in the face on the play and left the game, but returned a few minutes later.
Grasso set up the second goal with a pass to left outside midfielder Gray Anderson in the 16th minute of the first half. Anderson’s chip was finished by Nelson in front of the goal, making it 2-0.
The next best chance by the Trojans came on a rocket off the foot of Torruella from about 20 yards away that defender Nick Kruyer deflected away. In the final four minutes of the first half, Nelsen and Hayden Little were recipients of through balls from Grasso, but were unable to finish them.
The Trojans were able to hang around until the 64th minute of the match when Jimmy Casey deposited a back pass from Nelsen into the back of the net from the top of the penalty circle. Will Price provided the pass for the final goal by Chris Sanders.
Pinecrest improved to 16-5-2 while Garner, the fifth seed from the Greater Neuse River Conference, completed its season with a record of 6-10-3. The Patriots are expected to meet the winner of Wednesday’s first round match between Pine Forest (8-8-2) and East Wake (14-4-2) Saturday evening.
More like this story