WILSON — On paper, Wilson Hunt, the No. 3 seed in the East Region, was supposed to handle No. 19-seeded Northwood pretty handily in second round NCHSAA 3A State Playoff soccer action Friday …
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WILSON — On paper, Wilson Hunt, the No. 3 seed in the East Region, was supposed to handle No. 19-seeded Northwood pretty handily in second round NCHSAA 3A State Playoff soccer action Friday evening.
Northwood again proved that the Big Eight Conference is the premiere 3A girls soccer conference in the state by doubling the shot totals on Hunt en route to a 2-1 victory.
With the win, Northwood (16-6-1) advances to play fellow conference foe and reigning division champion East Chapel Hill (16-2-2). Northwood dealt the Wildcats their lone league loss with a 2-1 win in Pittsboro on April 3, before ECH won the rematch 2-0 over in Orange County.
East Chapel Hill topped Southern Alamance 2-0 in the opening round before surviving Eastern Alamance in PK’s 4-3 on Friday night.
Hunt closes the season at 14-3, recording 10 shutouts and having allowed just 12 games coming into Friday night.
In Wilson, what else can you say about the Lady Chargers? They were simply on a mission to advance.
“We needed our seniors to step up tonight and they did,” said Northwood coach David Holub. “To have them come here (Wilson Hunt), step up and extend the season for the team is a priceless memory. They didn’t want their last game to be tonight.”
The Chargers actually fell behind in the 19th minute of the contest on a Kirsten Amrstrong run which allowed the Warrior sophomore star to attack Northwood goalie Ella Strayer one-on-one. Strayer made a decisive charge at the approaching Armstrong, but the Hunt striker lifted the ball over the NW goalie and into the net for a 1-0 lead for the Warriors.
But Northwood never wavered, and continued to attack the entire 80 minutes, including out-shooting Hunt 11-2 in the opening half.
Jules Hubbard provided the equalizer in the 34th minute of the first half on a slick give and go play with Katie Fuller.
With the game knotted at 1-1 at the intermission, the strategy was simple for the Chargers in the second half, remain aggressive.
Just 12 minutes in, it paid off for Northwood when Helena Hysong hauled in a pass from Hubbard and found the net in what would be the game-winner.
Hunt was out-shot 8-4 in the second half by the Chargers, and never really threatened outside a corner kick with 16:05 left, which was kicked around before bounding just outside the right post.
Strayer, who had six saves, would keep the Warriors off the board to preserve the victory while picking up the win in goal after working all 80 minutes.
Holub had plenty of praise for his Chargers.
“Hubbard and Hysong have been playing hurt all season and Hubbard really was terrific in her 50 minutes of play, patiently waiting for the opportunities to unfold and then attacking the space was her mode for the night,” Holub pointed out. “We had six players that played all 80 minutes, including Madeline Conte who roamed and controlled the midfield.”
Hallie and Sydney Arnott, Taylor Pollard all played 80 minutes along with Conte, Katie and Korrine Fuller, while MacKenzie Kremer played 77 strong minutes and Angel Vue 68 more.
Rachel Cox took the loss in the net for Wilson Hunt.