Seaforth, Northwood girls soccer win 1st-round games; Woods Charter earns bye


Four Chatham County girls soccer teams kicked off postseason play Monday night, and two of those squads — Seaforth and Northwood — won handily to advance to the second round.

The Hawks took care of business at home Monday night with a 9-0 victory over Midway. Seaforth was led offensively by the freshmen duo of Sofia Viana and Regan Willauer, who combined for seven of the team’s goals while dishing out five combined assists.

Seaforth entered the 2A tournament as the No. 7 in the east region after finishing the regular season at 15-5-1. The Hawks were a perfect 10-0 against Mid-Carolina Conference opponents during the spring, including a pair of wins over county-rival Jordan-Matthews. Head coach Giovanni Viana’s team now plays Heide Trask at home Thursday in the second round of the state playoffs.

Through the Hawks’ first 21 games, their top scorer has Sofia Viana, who eclipsed the 30-goal mark Monday and now sits at 31 for the season to go with a team-high 23 assists. The only other Seaforth player with more than 10 goals this season is sophomore Caitlin Erman, who has 30. In net, freshman Katie Leonard has 99 saves already this season.

The other victorious Chatham girls soccer team Monday night was Northwood, which dominated Northern Nash, 8-2, on the road in the first round of the 3A tournament. The Chargers finished the regular season with an overall record of 10-8-3 and they finished third in the Central 3A standings at 6-5-1.

Northwood earned the No. 17 seed in the 3A east, but they played like a much more prolific squad Monday against Northern Nash. The Chargers were led by a huge performance from junior Bella Rogers, who had a career-high five goals in the victory. Coming into the tournament, Rogers was second on the team in goals (17) behind sophomore Sarah Anne Murrell (18).

The Chargers will compete in the second round Thursday on the road against No. 1 seed Eastern Alamance on Thursday. The Eagles come into the game with a 15-0-1 record and have only allowed six goals to their opponent all season.

Two other teams — Jordan-Matthews and Chatham Charter — both lost Monday night in their respective tournaments.

The Jets made the 2A bracket as the No. 18 seed and faced Nash Central on the road Monday. Jordan-Matthews couldn’t keep up, ultimately falling 8-1. The team’s lone goal was scored by junior Hannia Martinez.

Coming into the playoffs, J-M had an overall record of 10-6-4. The team’s top-scorer during the regular season was sophomore Jessica Parroquin (34 goals), while Martinez chipped in 14 and seven assists.

Chatham Charter, meanwhile, lost to Bear Grass Charter, 7-1, in the first round of the 1A playoffs. The Knights close the 2023 season with an overall record of 1-14.

Head coach Rachel Smith’s team totaled 15 goals over their 15 games this season, while allowing their opponents an average of 8.3 goals per game. Chatham Charter has not finished above .500 in any season in program history.

The lone Chatham County team which didn’t play Monday but is still alive in the postseason is Woods Charter. The Wolves earned the No. 1 seed in the 1A east and a first-round bye after finishing the regular season with an overall record of 16-1-3.

The Wolves — who lost in the state finals of last spring’s 1A tournament — open the 2023 playoffs Thursday at home against Triangle Math & Science. Woods played the Tigers twice during the regular season, winning both games by a score of 9-0.

Woods Charter has three players with at least 20 goals this season — freshman Amelia Cherry (34) and juniors Sienna Gray (32) and Leyla Noronha (21). Both Gray and Noronha are also tied for the team lead in assists with 17.

Sports Editor Jeremy Vernon can be reached at or on Twitter at @jbo_vernon.

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