Panthers top Chargers, 2-1
By Jake Keator
The Daily Reflector
Thursday, September 12, 2019
The North Pitt boys soccer team walked away with a tight non-conference victory over Ayden-Grifton Wednesday night, 2-1, in Littlefield.
Josue Jeronimo and Juan Carlos Salcedo notched goals for the Panthers (3-4), while Luis Cantera recorded an assist. Alex Hernandez earned the Chargers' (0-4-2) lone goal.
While the Panthers took an early advantage in possession time, it was the Chargers who focuses on short passes to help drive the ball up the pitch. Youth an inexperience showed however, as turnovers and intercepted passes continued to give NP runs into the A-G defensive zone.
Hernandez then opened the scoring for the Chargers mid-way through the first half, sneaking the ball past NP goalkeeper Alan Savage with 19 minutes to go, but the scoring didn't end there.
Jeronimo finally broke through for the Panthers with just over three minutes remaining in the first half to level the score at one. That score would hold until the buzzer.
As the teams entered the second half it was the Chargers once again who held the larger time of possession, but that didn't stop NP.
Cantera lined up just over the mid-field line to nail a free kick with 7:30 to go in the match. His long strike found Salcedo, who, while falling, knocked the ball into the lower left hand corner to give the Panthers a late lead and the win.
Chargers head coach Jeff Stalley's team is still searching for it's first win after falling just short.
"They did a great job of crashing on the ball, that's how they got it in the net," Stelly said of the Panthers. "They are very good at that and that's in part of the great coaching. We have a game tomorrow though with Southside, so I'm just going to focus on them."
The Chargers roster features seven freshman, and Stelly is taking each game as an opportunity to provide more and more experience to his younger players.
"Every single chance we get to have these guys play is key," Stelly said. "I added a couple of extra teams to our schedule this year, and that's mainly because I knew we were going to have a young team. I think the biggest exposure for these guys is game time."
NP head coach Lauren Wasilick was happy to have the win, but saw area's her side needed to improve before NP opens conference play.
"It was exciting, Wasilick said. "It's a tie game and you get the winner late. Much credit to Ayden, I always enjoy playing them and the guys always enjoy playing them. It was a nerve wracking game for sure. Our passing is horrendous. I told them that we have the right idea, and we're going in the right direction, but we really need to fine tune our possession and our possession play because we're not where we want to be yet."
A-G will travel to face Riverside tonight, while NP will get their shot at Riverside on Sept. 16.
Southern Wayne 2, D.H. Conley 2 (6-5 PK Shootout)
D.H. Conley fell just short of defeating 3-A/4-A Eastern Carolina Conference opponent Southern Wayne Tuesday night, losing in penalty kicks.
Griffin Purvis and Cody McLaughlin's recorded scores in regular time. After playing through two overtime periods McLaughlin, Sammy Tulis, Massimo Mannino, Ethan Kennedy and Jesus Angel nailed goals in a penalty kick shootout. After going to golden goal the Saints scored the game winner.
Conley (4-2-1) will host New Bern tonight.
Ayden-Grifton 3, Ashley 1
Ayden-Grifotn picked up a road win over Ashley Wednesday night (19-25, 25-23 25-10 and 25-22).
Emily Dykes (15 service points,15 kills), Lexi Bryant (12 service points, 12 kills), Holly Cannon (16 service points, 28 assists), Abby Langemann (15 service points) and Aaleyah Garris (11 service points) led the way in the win. A-G (5-4, 1-0) travels to Washington tonight.
J.H. Rose 2, D.H. Conley 0
J.H. Rose picked up a big win over rival Conley Tuesday night, sweeping the Vikings 2-0 (25-19 and 25-16).
Alyssa Thomas had eight kills for DHC in the loss, while Riley Baldree added three kills.