Pam Pack advancesPublished 9:12pm Wednesday, October 30, 2013
On the eve of Halloween the Pam Pack survived a scare as it held off Burlington Cummings to hold on to a 2-1 victory in the first round of the NCHSAA 2-A playoffs on Wednesday.
Washington (17-1-2), the No. 2 seed in the playoffs, held a 2-0 lead over the 31st seeded Cavaliers (4-7) midway through the second half when they managed to score their first goal of the night.
However, the Pam Pack dug deep and came up with a strong defensive effort for the final 14 minutes to pick up its first playoff victory since 2009 and tie the school’s single-season record for wins.
“We’re very excited to be moving on,” Washington coach Jimmy Kozuch said. “It’s been a long time since we’ve had a playoff win so we’re all very excited, but I think we all understand that we need to step up our play if we want to keep advancing through the playoffs.”
The Pam Pack coasted through the regular season, only stumbling once in 19 games, and Kozuch felt his team might have been a little too confident going against a Cavaliers team that only had four victories on the year.
“I think sometimes they overlook a team when they see a record like that,” Kozuch said. “But because they play in a tough conference their record didn’t show how good they were.
“I think we came out a little too confident today, which is something we won’t do in our next game.”
The two teams played even for a majority of the first half, but Washington was able to take a 1-0 lead when Sergio Higuera delivered a perfectly placed pass across the field to Luis Gamboa, who headed it past the Cavs keeper.
“Sergio took the ball down and beat his defender and he made a good pass to Luis, who was able to get it in,” Kozuch said. “(Gamboa) has done well for us this year. It’s his first year in the program and he’s scored about eight or nine goals this season.”
The scored stayed at 1-0 until halftime, but it would quickly go to 2-0 when Jorge Rodriguez notched what would prove to be the game-winning goal two minutes into the second stanza.
“William Page had a long throw-in and Jorge Rodriguez had a nice little deflection that got into the goal,” Kozuch said.
Cummings would not go out lying down and struck back at the 14-minute to mark to cut the deficit to 2-1.
“After that I was just telling the guys to calm down,” Kozuch said. “We hadn’t given up many shots and I just wanted them to settle down.”
The Pam Pack listened as it buckled down on defense to preserve the win and advance to the second round of the playoffs, which will take place on Friday or Saturday.