Heritage wins 4A soccer title over Pinecrest in PKs
The Heritage Huskies won the 4A girls soccer state championship game over the Pinecrest Patriots 1-1 (4-2 in PKs) on Saturday at NC State.
Heritage generated two chances in the first few minutes of the game.
The first was just seconds after the opening kick-off, and a good look from just outside the box sailed over the net.
A few minutes later, a shot from about the same area hit the bar, but an open Husky couldn’t corral and capitalize on the rebound into an open net before a defender canceled the chance.
After surviving the initial push from Heritage’s offense, Pinecrest settled into the game and began to have possession of their own.
Heritage re-established its dominance of the scoring chances later in the half, but the Huskies were unable to capitalize in the first half.
The speed of Bri Holt and the rest of Heritage’s attack presented major issues for Pinecrest’s defense, as the Patriot defenders struggled with fending off pressure and advancing the ball to the midfield.
Heritage had three shots in the first half, one of which went on goal. Pinecrest did not muster a shot in the first half.
“We went into halftime and we made some adjustments,” head coach Scott Sloan said. “We felt like we were too concerned about a couple of their players, and it was taking us out of who we were as a team.”
The Huskies didn’t need too much time to get on the board in the second half, as 13 minutes into the frame junior Raegan Meyer buried an opportunity in the box with an assist from senior Hayley Boyles.
Pinecrest answered right away. On a free kick from about 10 yards outside the box vertically and five yards horizontally, senior Madi Pry sent a rocket directly to the upper right corner to tie the game at a goal apiece.
Heritage rested its main attack players in the early and middle portions of the second half, bringing them back in with about 18 minutes to go in regulation.
That break for those players gave the Huskies a speed and stamina advantage at the end of the half, but again Heritage struggled to capitalize on its chances.
Neither team could break through in the waning minutes of regulation play, and the game went to overtime tied at one.
Pinecrest had the best opportunity of the overtime periods when Keely Copper was sprung for a two-on-one. She drew the defender to her and passed to her teammate, but Heritage goalkeeper Katie Hua made an aggressive play to beat the attacker to the ball.
The Patriots had another outstanding scoring chance a few moments later when Emma Lewis was in all alone well within the box, but she sent the ball just high and Heritage survived.
The two overtime periods passed without a goal, so the game proceeded to the golden goal portion of overtime.
Both teams traded solid opportunities in the golden goal periods, but neither team found the net.
In penalty kicks, Heritage trailed 1-0 after a round, but scored on its next four attempts to win the game while Pinecrest missed twice.