Pack trounce BeddingfieldPublished 9:47pm Thursday, April 10, 2014
It’s quickly becoming evident that the Washington girls soccer team is too good to have been demoted to Class 2-A, as the team continues to make a mockery of the Eastern Plains Conference. After activating the nine-goal mercy rule against the first four conference teams, the Pam Pack played host to Beddingfield Thursday evening, effortlessly locking up another 9-0 win.
“We did what we had to do,” said head coach Ed Rodriguez. “We got the goals in, moved the ball and didn’t have to pressure much at all. Once we got a few goals, they didn’t play us as hard. They were playing not to lose instead of win.”
On display was the Eastern Plains Conference’s leading scorer, Pam Pack senior Christian Heggie, who made her presence known early by firing off a shot in the first 30 seconds of the contest. Two minutes later, sophomore Isabella Mayo picked the pocket of a Bruins midfielder and quickly redirected the ball up field, laying a beautiful threw ball to the foot of Heggie. The Pam Pack captain was faced with nothing but open field and a net, as she drew the goalie in and easily scored her conference-high 28th goal of the season, putting the Pack up 1-0.
Throughout the contest, Midfielder Harley Hudson put on a show for the home fans defensively and offensively. The senior winger came up with multiple takeaways and turned them into goal-scoring opportunities.
Toeing the sideline with defenders in her face, Hudson continuously found teammates in front of the net with perfectly placed crosses. In some cases, she even tested the keeper with tough-angle shots.
However, in the 9th minute, it was Hudson’s counterpart on the wing, junior Caitlyn Scott, who found an opening in the defense and tapped in an easy goal past the keeper. Minutes later, Mayo headed the ball off a throw-in and right to the foot of Rebecca Omonde about 10 yards from goal. She capitalized with her fourth goal of the season.
Washington continued to pressure and allowed just one Bruins shot in the first half. In fact, the only Bruins’ opportunity at net came in the 32nd minute when a Beddingfield defender miskicked a ball on her own end and into her own net.
Before the whistle and after multiple breaks in front of the goal, Hudson finally had her moment off a beautifully placed cross from senior Alana Jefferson to put Washington up 5-0 heading into the break.
“My strategy has always been, even in the Coastal (Conference), we’re going to pressure hard, make our runs and play as hard as we can,” Rodriguez said. “This team works more on inside passing because we need to play to our strengths. It’s a way we can maximize our team’s performance. Playing man-to-man hard won’t be our strongest suit. That’s how we play.”
Almost immediately out of the gate in the second half, the scoring continued. From about 25 yards out, Jefferson blasted one over the outstretched hand of the goalie and into the upper-90.
The Bruins began to become physically frustrated. As Heggie made her way towards goal on yet another break, a Beddingfield defender brutishly slide tackled her from behind in the box. Rodriguez sent sophomore Rylee Anderson to the line to take the penalty kick, and she would come through, putting the Pack up by a commanding 7-0.
A minute later, it was senior Elizabeth Miller who notched her first goal of the season, which triggered a jovial reaction from every Pam Pack player on the pitch.
Conversely, that excitement came to an abrupt halt in the 21st minute as Hudson collided with a Beddingfield player in the box and went down hard. The senior captain had to be escorted off the pitch by Rodriguez.
“She’s been so consistent for us,” Rodriguez said. “Tonight was just bad luck. She made a hustle play and unfortunately it didn’t turn out well for her. She hit her shoulder when she hit the ground. I feel bad for her because she hurt her ankle when we played this team last time.”
On first glance, Rodriguez believes it’s likely a dislocated shoulder.
Afterwards, the Pam Pack shuffled positions, allowing some of the defenders to get a chance at net. Assisted by Heggie, junior defender Anna McLawhorn took advantage and sent the Washington faithful home early.
The win is the Pam Pack’s 10th-straight, as the team improves to a perfect 5-0 in conference play. They will face Kinston at home on Monday.