Patriots Advance to East Region Semifinals
The first 79 minutes of the state 4-A boys' soccer championship third-round game between the Pinecrest Patriots and the E.A. Laney Buccaneers pitted two physical and evenly-matched state-ranked teams against each other.
And the only thing preventing looming overtime was one minute of play Wednesday night.
Then in the span of two consecutive Patriot corner kicks and 17 ticks of the clock, junior Stephen Sawyer’s towering header slammed into the left back of the net past Buc goal keeper Stephen Lapp with 42.6 seconds left in the game, giving Pinecrest another thrilling victory on their home field by a 1-0 margin.
In ending the Bucs' season at 16-5-1, Pinecrest boosted its record to 16-2-3, with a No. 9 ranking in the state.
The Patriots will host New Hanover in an East Regional Final Four match-up Saturday night at the John Williams Athletic field. Game time is tentatively 6 p.m.
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