Patriots Blank Hoggard in Soccer
The Pinecrest boys continued their late summer campaign of matches against high quality soccer opponents by defeating Wilmington Hoggard 3-0 at Fayetteville Academy Saturday morning.
The Patriots will take a 3-2 record into Monday's contest at Cardinal Gibbons (6-1), the sixth ranked team in the 3A coaches poll. Tenth ranked in 4A, Hoggard dropped to 4-3-1 with the loss.
Midway through the first half, the Patriots’ Max Clare crossed a ball from the left that connected with Hayden Little in the Viking penalty box. Screened off from taking a shot by the goalkeeper, Little tapped the ball off to teammate Jordan Beck, who sent a soft, spinning ball into the right corner of the net.
“Hayden set me up and it was just a nice tap in finish,” Beck said. “They’re a great team so I just wanted to put it away early and get us started. We haven’t been finishing that well lately.”
Late in the first half, left back Morgan Van Camp played a ball forward to Dane Nelson about 20 yards away from the goal. Nelson chipped the ball over the head of the oncoming goalkeeper only to have him retreat and briefly gain control of it. But when the ball came free, Nelson was there for the tap-in that made it 2-0.
“I think getting the second goal was huge,” Patriot coach Todd Abbey said.
The Patriots appeared to be well in control at this point. Then in the 11th minute of the second half, midfielder Richard Palmer threaded a pass between two defenders to Jimmy Casey in the penalty box. A Viking defender fouled him and Patrick White converted the penalty kick that made it 3-0.
J.T. Stilwell replaced Mitchell Dotson as goalkeeper late in the second half and helped preserve the Patriot shutout with a save in a one-on-one confrontation with a Viking attacker.
The match was the second part of a morning doubleheader at the neutral site. In the first game, New Hanover defeated Fayetteville Academy 1-0.
The Patriots have now taken on top-15 teams in three of their last four matches, going 1-1-1 against the ranked squads. They tied No. 15 T.C. Roberson 2-2 and lost 2-0 to No. 13 Leesville Road before defeating the Vikings.
“I felt in all four games (including an earlier 3-2 loss to a New Hanover team that was ranked at the time) we had the run of play,” Abbey said. “It was nice to actually finish one and it was good for the boys too.”
Next week’s schedule also includes a Southeastern Conference match at home against Lumberton on Wednesday and a makeup non-conference date at Sanderson on Thursday.
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