South Lenoir soccer wins fifth straight, defeats West Craven
DEEP RUN — The future may be bright for South Lenoir soccer, but the present has quite a few rays of sun as well.
The Blue Devils seemed locked into another tight game with West Craven Thursday, as it was scoreless at halftime. Considering it took a late Candace Pierce penalty kick to register a 1-0 win in Vanceboro March 18, the stage was set for another frantic finish.
Instead, the Blue Devils scored their goals in a 25-minute span to take a 4-0 victory. South Lenoir has won five straight contests and is 8-2 on the season, one year after winning a school-record 10 games. South Lenoir coach David Whaley said it wasn’t an easy win and the contributions from the upperclassmen have helped immensely.
“It’s been senior leadership and the girls have given everything they’ve got to this program,” Whaley said. “West Craven is a tough team to score against and their coach is a class act—this wasn’t an easy victory. Before the game, considering the wind, the coaching staff decided it was best to play a more defensive game in the first half.
“In the second half, we were really able to get out and the wind was behind us.”
Skarlett Gonzalez and Candace Pierce scored six minutes after the start of the second half, followed by Gracie Reavis and Pierce bringing in a second goal.
“I thought this game would be like the first one, but we were able to control the ball way more in the second half,” Gonzalez said.
The focus has shifted toward Washington on March 22 and while the Blue Devils lost the first meeting 11-2, South Lenoir trailed 3-2 heading into halftime. With a victory, the team can claim a tie for the conference lead.
“I think the first time we played Washington, we were satisfied at halftime,” Pierce said. “This time, we’ll work harder and won’t quit — we showed in this game how much we wanted to play and keep things going in the right direction.”
Whaley said the potential of maintaining this level or surpassing it is high.
“We had some sophomores who came out toward the end who did an amazing job,” Whaley said. “They were able to get some good playing time and show that the future really is great for us moving forward.”