PHS Soccer Torches Trojans; Opens Playoffs with 7-0 Win
The Patriots cruised to a 7-0 victory against Pine Forest Tuesday, in the opening round of the 4-A NCHSAA state soccer playoffs.
Pinecrest, which improved to 19-2-2 on the season with the victory, out shot the visiting Trojans 22 to 1 through the opening half of action to carry a 4-0 lead into intermission at the John Williams Athletic Complex.
Starting outside fullback Max Clare struck first for the Pats, finding the back of the net on a rebound in the box after a shot by Nick Kruyer. A corner kick on goal, struck from the right side, by Jake Harbeck initiated the score that give the home team a 1-0 lead in the 6th minute of action.
By the end of the first half, Pinecrest had totaled 11 corner kicks as its offense completely controlled possession of the ball. However it took quite a while for the Pats to find the goal for a second time as 10 shots later they were still stuck leading 1-0 with seven minutes left to play in the opening stanza.
The Pats then scored three goals on three shots, over the final six minutes of the frame, the first of which came at the 5:31 mark when Dane Nelsen scored after a cross by Hayden Little.
Little scored less than four minutes later on a slick send by senior midfielder Richard Palmer, who made a brilliant touch with his chest on a long cross-field pass played up by Clare. After collecting it, Palmer made a touch and slipped a through ball with pace at the feet of Little, who banged it in to give Pinecrest a 3-0 lead.
Nelsen struck again in the 39th minute, when he beat the keeper on a one timer. Taylor Morton was credited with the assist on the goal as he made a dynamic pass after cutting in on a run. The ball by Taylor set Nelsen up for a point-blank chance at the back post, which the senior forward finished nicely.
Palmer, Harbeck and Shane Bridgman scored the goals for Pinecrest in the second half. Palmer's score came on a full bicycle kick, after a corner by Morton in the 49th minute. Harbeck's goal came on a penalty kick in the 52nd minute, while Bridgman got the ball into the back of the net in the 56th minute after receiving a crisp, low cross from Drew Phillips.
Pinecrest hosts Knightdale (12-6-3, Greater Neuse River two seed) Saturday in second round playoff action in Southern Pines at 6 p.m.
Contact F.W. Manning II at firstname.lastname@example.org
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