Lady Vike Soccer Clinches Conference Crown
Make it two in a row for the Union Pines Lady Viking soccer team.
With a 5-1 drubbing of league foe Southern Lee, Wednesday at Woodrow Wilhoit Stadium in Cameron, Union Pines (13-2-1) clinched its second consecutive 3-A Cape Fear Valley Conference Crown.
The defending league champions started the week coming off spring break re-energized and with a complete roster for the first time all season.
Needless to say, the results spoke for themselves as the Lady Vikings dismantled then second-place Gray's Creek (10-6-1, 5-3 CFVC) by a 4-0 margin Monday, before cruising to the four-goal victory Wednesday night against third-place Southern Lee (7-5-1, 6-3).
With just two league tilts left on their schedule the Vikings are atop the league standings with a mark of 9-0-1. The tie came in a match against Overhills in Spring Lake that was originally suspended at half time -- due to a passing thunderstorm -- with the contest knotted at nil-nil. At the time of the suspension it was settled the game would be finished at a later date, but with second-place Overhills currently sitting at 6-2-1 in the standings, it has since be determined the half will count as full conference game.
Because Union Pines topped Overhills (9-3-2) once already this season in league action, the Vikings have clinched the top CFVC seed in the 3-A playoffs and (at worst) a share of the league championship.
In Wednesday's match Union Pines controlled the action from the onset and carried a 3-0 lead into intermission.
The Vikings scored their first-half goals in a frenetic four-minute attack that started with 27:10 to go in the stanza.
First freshman midfielder Abby Verchick zipped a deft cross to the far post that found sophomore Hannah Kiser, who made an athletic touch to volley the ball into the net. Next, Lady Viking senior captain Carly Lively scored after Bri Orloff sent a big service on goal, which Verchick first collected and then slid over towards center-frame for her second assist of the night.
The final strike came in the 16th minute when freshman forward Kati LaForge connected with sophomore center-mid Kooba Richard for a perfectly executed give-and-go score that began from the top of the penalty box.
Early in the second half Southern Lee trimmed the Vike lead to 3-1 on a penalty kick (PK), in one of a handful of highlights for the visiting Cavs.
Less than two minutes after the PK score, Union Pines replied as Orloff sent a huge bomb down field that found LaForge, who promptly bested the charging keeper to push the margin to 4-1 in the 48th minute.
Richard rounded out the scoring in the 61st minute on an unassisted laser from mid-range that she blasted into the back of the net.
The victory extended Union Pines' current undefeated streak to 26 games in CFVC action. The Vikings are scheduled to return to the pitch in a league match Monday against Western Harnett (1-12, 1-7) at 7 p.m. in Lillington.
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