Pam Pack establishing authority in new conference

Published 11:51 am Friday, March 28, 2014




Washington has tallied 41 goals in its last five contests

The 2014 girls soccer season began with several unknowns for the Pam Pack. How would the team fair in a new conference? Would star midfielder Alana Jefferson repeat her remarkable 2013 campaign? Would a young midfield be physically conditioned enough to back a veteran defensive core?

Matching up against two former conference opponents to begin the season (J.H. Rose and D.H. Conley), the Pam Pack looked sluggish, the midfield lackadaisical and Jefferson failed to record a goal in either contest.

After Washington’s match against Conley, head coach Ed Rodriguez addressed the team, encouraging them to keep their heads up because, after all, it’s only the first couple of games. He identified the team’s situation, and knew exactly what it would take to be successful.

Following the pep talk, the Pack went on a historic goal-scoring barrage, one that has yet to be renounced.

On March 13, just two days after their 2-0 loss to D.H. Conley, the Pack hit the road to face their first Class 2-A team of the season, Northeastern. The team walked off the bus looking to make a statement and rebound from a disappointing start. They would do so, defeating their opponent 9-0 and activating the mercy rule. Senior captains Jefferson and Christian Heggie both notched hat tricks, and senior Harley Hudson, who has proved to be a methodical force on the wing, recorded two well-placed strikes. Goalie Emily Alligood had to make just three saves.

The midfield, which Rodriguez considers the facilitator behind successful teams, still looked incomplete, but would evolve in the games to come. A week later, Washington breezed by a tough Edenton Holmes team, 5-1, battling through a sickness that affected a handful of players and limited the team’s reserves.

The Pack headed back to Washington the next day to face North Lenoir at home and had just two subs on the bench. Still, Rodriguez’s wingers seemed to finally find their identity, only letting the ball cross midfield three or four times in a 9-0 rout.

This week, the Pam Pack chalked up two more 9-0 shutouts against Beddingfield and Kinston, improving their road record to an impressive 4-0. Since the substandard loss to Conley, Washington has scored an unprecedented 41 goals. Jefferson now has 10 goals and seven assists, while Heggie leads the team and Eastern Plains Conference with 17 goals.

With an ample midfield, two of the conference’s top scorers, a confident goalie and a defense that has held opponents to just seven shots on goal per game, Washington is now the team to beat.

However, due to the weather’s affect on prescheduled games, the Pam Pack’s perfect road record will be tested over the next two weeks, as the team – coming off three away games – will face North Pitt, Bunn and powerhouse North Johnston on the road. The Panthers are 7-1 this season and have scored 22 goals over the last five games.