Washington blasts North Lenoir

Published 12:02 am Saturday, March 22, 2014




With each contest, the Washington girls soccer team seemed to be inching closer and closer to discovering its true identity, and Friday evening, they may have found it, breezing by North Lenoir, 9-0.

In the first minutes of play, it was evident that the Pam Pack were not only the more conditioned team, but also the more technical team. In the first minute, senior captain Harley Hudson set the tone of the game by testing the Hawks’ goalie with a quick shot out of the gate. From there, the Pam Pack attacked with an onslaught of forceful strikes, including one from their other senior captain, Alana Jefferson, that struck the football upright and redirected about 40 feet in the air.

Finally, in the 10th minute, Harley Hudson broke through with a bad-angle chip shot that gently floated over the goalie’s outstretched hand. Just eight minutes later, Rebecca Omonde cleaned up a rebound from another Hudson close-range shot for an easy goal.

Washington midfielders Caitlyn Scott and Rubi Perez kept the Hawks strikers contained, as North Lenoir crossed midfield just a handful of times throughout the match.

As Jefferson continued her high-powered strikes, most of which sailed over the crossbar, and Scott broke through for a few opportunities at the net, North Lenoir struggled for possession.

In the 26th minute, senior striker Christian Heggie, who played with a protective full arm cast, notched her team-high 10th goal of the season to put the Pack up 3-0.

A frustrated Hawks’ defender finally had enough in the 29th minute, taking her elbow and going for the head of Hudson, who spent most of her day creating opportunities by easily dribbling through the opposing defense. Hudson hit the ground hard, earning her team a penalty kick. Senior Katie Tate took the shot for the Pack and buried it in the bottom left-hand corner.

Just four minutes later, junior Warner Little blasted a hooking corner kick that deflected off a Hawks’ defender into the back of the net. Sophomore Isabella Mayo added to the assault in the 38th minute after Heggie executed a perfect assist in front of the net.

Leading 6-0 at the half, the Pack had put the game out of reach.

“We worked the ball well,” said head coach Ed Rodriguez. “We’ve been taking a shots…a lot of shots. Even the games we lost, we took a decent amount of shots. We just need to finish them. I’m glad we’re getting there. Once you keep taking shots, eventually they’re going to go in.”

Washington continued its dominance in the second half by tacking on three more goals, two by Jefferson, bringing her season total to seven. Rodriguez credits his improved midfield with the conclusive home victory.

“The midfield is playing a lot better than the first two or three games, and that’s what we were working on,” Rodriguez said. “I have people up front that can do the job, but if you win the midfield, you win the game. That’s what it comes down to.”

Washington will try to improve to 5-2 on the young season when they face Beddingfield on the road Tuesday.

Heggie is currently tied with North Johnston’s Samantha Richardson for the conference lead in goals.