The No. 3-seed Wilkes Central Eagles defeated No. 19 Patton 6-1 in the second round of the North Carolina High School Athletic Association 2A girls soccer playoffs at Rivers Edge Sports Complex in Wilkesboro on Friday evening.
The Eagles were dominant on both sides of the pitch, using a patient, yet aggressive, offensive attack; while forcing Patton into long passes, denying runs on the back-line defensively.
Wilkes Central (21-0) went into attack early and often, converting a goal in just the fourth minute as Makenna Freeman fielded a ball from a Patton goal kick and headed it forward to Zoe Susi in the middle. Susi sent a through pass to the left for Kaylin Bang who found the net to the right past a diving keeper, putting the Eagles ahead 1-0.
Bang returned the favor a few minutes later as she stormed ahead up the left side of the pitch fighting off a defender. The junior put a through pass right to Susi in the middle of the box who netted it for the 2-0 advantage.
The Eagles took a 3-0 lead only four minutes later as Sarah Lowe dribbled through the Panthers defense and sent a shot to the left of the keeper, giving Wilkes Central a big lead at the half.
Patton (18-6) found themselves in a 4-0 hole after giving up another goal to Bang, her second of the day, but denied a clean sheet with a goal in the 57th minute.
The Panthers took advantage of a Wilkes Central turnover and Ellie Sacchetti was left one-on-one with the Eagles’ Journey McCrimmon and found the net putting the Panthers on the board 4-1.
Wilkes Central scored twice more late in the match as Emily Pontzer sent in a header off a free kick and Karstin Adair scored from the middle of the box to give the Eagles the 6-1 victory.
The Eagles advance to the third round of the NCHSAA 2A State Playoffs where they will host the No. 6-seed Forbush (time and date not official as of Sunday night) in a battle of former conference-foes. The Falcons defeated No. 11 West Davidson 1-0 in overtime to advance.