The struggles continued for the Ayden-Grifton soccer team Wednesday evening as they fell to 2-A Eastern Carolina Conference leader Washington, 10-1 on senior night.
The Chargers struggled to compete with the Pam Pack, which featured a taller, faster and more experienced roster.
The lone goal for the Chargers came from senior Alex Hernandez in the middle of the first half, as he collected a rebound off Washington goalkeeper Will Crisp. Hernandez then snuck the ball into the net with 16 minutes remaining. He also nearly added a second score with just 20 seconds left, but the goal was called back due to being offsides.
Head coach Jeff Stelly had hoped to send his five seniors (Hernandez, Johanna Lopez, Alex Nichols, Roberto Mendoza and Jehovany Martinez) on a higher note, but he continued to use each match as a lesson for his young squad.
"We've played a lot of games, and that's the key," Stelly said. "We've put them in a lot of different situations. We're losing Alex next year, so they are auditioning to see who will be the next one to take over up front. We're so, so young in the back. We have to work on communication and being better overall in those situations, especially against a team as talented as they are."
Helping in those lessons was the Chargers schedule, which, along with Washington, features top teams such as South Central, Southside, Greene Central.
"We've played some really tough teams," Stelly said. "We've played some of the higher ranked teams on Maxpreps and we've held our own. We tried out some new things in terms of lineups today, and they worked for a long time. Then all of a sudden it stopped working and they started pouncing on us again at the end of the match."
Stelly's halftime adjustments did bring improvement. The Pam Pack cruised early in the game, recording two of their four first half goals in the opening six minutes of the match. By comparison, A-G held Washington scoreless for nearly the first 20 minutes of the second half.
The Chargers (3-11-2, 3-5) have just four games remaining, and will take the pitch next on Oct. 22 when they host South Lenoir.
Contact Jake Keator at email@example.com, 252-329-9594 and follow @JakeKeatorDR on Twitter.
Oakwood 3, Trinity 0
BreAnna McMillan (8 kills, 17 digs, 6 aces) Macey Robinette (8 kills, 20 digs) and Kennedy Rhodes (7 kills, 6 blocks) led Oakwood to a sweep of Trinity Tuesday night.
The win advanced Oakwood to the second round of the state playoffs, where they will travel to play Wayne Country Day tonight.
D.H. Conley 3, Eastern Wayne 0
D.H. Conley swept Eastern Wayne, 25-17, 25-6 and 25-12 Tuesday night.
Alexis Desoto (11 kills), Olivia Lefever (5 kills, 10 assists) and Maddy May (5 kills) led the Vikings in the win.
DHC (19-2, 10-1) will face a tough test tonight as they hit the road for a rematch with rival South Central.
D.H. Conley 2, Eastern Wayne 0
DHC downed Eastern Wayne, 25-8 and 25-17 Tuesday.
Conley was led by Cassie Dail (12 assists) and Riley Baldree (6 kills).
Conley (17-4, 9-2) will travel to face South Central tonight.
Hope A 2, Farmville 0
The Hope Middle School A-team downed Farmville 25-8 and 25-12 Wednesday night.
Chelsey Thompson led the way with 12 service points.
Hope B 2, Farmville 0
Hope's B team defeated Farmville 25-15 and 25-11 Wednesday.
Scarlett Bean (7 service points), Abby Pender (6 service points) and Autumn Dukawicz (6 service points) pushed Hope to victory.