Roundup: Washington soccer advances, others end season

Published 12:18 am Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Lady Pack cruises into second round

Washington scored three goals in the first half and added another in the second to coast to a 4-0 win over Bunn in the first round. Sydney Edwards had two goals. Sydney Walker and Mackenzie Seiler each found the back of the net, too.

Julissa Perez made eight saves in the shutout effort. The defense in front of her was strong, too, as Washington brought a raucous home crows to its feet numerous times.

Edwards, now a senior, spearheaded Washington’s first step toward another shot at the 2-A state championship. She was a freshman in 2014 when the Lady Pack finished second best to West Stokes.

Washington moves on to host Durham School of the Arts at 7 p.m. on Thursday.


Panthers earn experience at golf championship

PINEHURST — Northside beat out 1-A Coastal Plains Conference champion Southside for the final qualifying spot out of the eastern regional, earning a bid to the 1-A state championship.

The Panthers finished 11th in the two-day event. Brennan Baldwin shot 192 over his 36 holes to place first among Northside’s competitors, and Evan Cornelius finished at 199.

The objective going in wasn’t to finish at a particular level. Rather, coach Jared Adams wanted to get the younger golfers experience.

“Overall, it was a learning experience for us,” he said. “We’re very young, still, as a team. Everybody is learning. … If anything, it was a good learning experience for the team.”

Competition level and the sheer difficulty of the state-championship course can be shocking to first-time participants. Getting to take all of that in will help the Panthers moving forward. After all, the goal each year is to make it where they did this year.

“They can visually see the level of competition toward the western side of the state,” Adams said. “We don’t see golfers and schools shooting low numbers, such as 318 or even in the 200s. It’s hard to find four guys that can go out and shoot between 72 and 76.”

All things considered, this has been a successful season for the Panthers. They overcame some adversity along the way to accomplishing their main objective.

“I’ve enjoyed all the guys,” Adams said. He praised first-time golfer Braeden Cooper. There were also younger players that showed plenty of upside. “By the time they get to be juniors and seniors, they’re going to improve tremendously.”


North Johnston sends Washington packing

KENLY — Washington and 2-A Eastern Plains Conference foe North Johnston clashed for the third time this season. Stakes were at their highest this time in the second round of the 2-A dual-team playoffs.

The Pam Pack went into each match at some kind of disadvantage. Wednesday was no different in a 5-1 loss to the hosting Panthers. The team was without Tony Lovenberg and Tim Anglim. Lovenberg was with the golf team at the state championship and Anglim recently underwent knee surgery.

“Everyone was used to their opponent’s playing style on both sides,” coach Miranda Whitley said. “… I’m proud that we did make it this far.”

Greyson Schmitt moved into the No. 3 singles spot. He was tasked with playing Ian Walston, who won the 2-A eastern-regional champion. Hodges Tubaugh and Allen Crisp had to move up, too. Courtland Whitley, who is normally the No. 8 player, had to play up to the six spot.

Zack Pagnani earned Washington’s only win.

Washington is graduating three of its players from this season. It should have a strong group of rising juniors who will only be strengthened by the experience of postseason play.

“Courtland has improved a lot since last year. There are still some things to tweak,” Whitley said. “Allen has a great serve. His serve has really developed. I’m seeing good things from the sophomores. I’m hoping they can keep it up.”

The season is over for everyone but Pagnani and his doubles partner Ben McKeithan. The two earned the right to compete at this weekend’s state championship.

“I hope that they can at least make it past the first round, get as far as they can, and do their best,” Whitley said.


Pam Pack golf finishes 7th in close match

PINEHURST — Washington secured second place after the first day of the 2-A golf state championship, but slipped down to seventh by the end. The result was a bit off of what coach Jim Kozuch had wished for, but only four strokes separated the Pam Pack from fourth place.

The team shot its best round of the season on Tuesday. Tony Lovenberg and Riley VenStaalduinen each registered a 77 in their opening rounds, and the Pam Pack collectively shot 323.

“We started off strong. It was a great day and we had fun,” Kozuch said. “The second day, we didn’t shoot all that bad. We shot just about what we average. The other teams played really well. … Either way, we were happy. We were hoping for top five. We were a few strokes from a top five. You can’t be mad about that.”

Kozuch kept track of the scores throughout the second day, but didn’t let the Pam Pack players know how they were faring relative to the competition.

“I knew we were super close. I knew it was going to come down to a few strokes. They didn’t,” Kozuch said. “I try not to put the pressure on them.”

Overall, the season was a successful one. While Washington wasn’t in contention to beat out a Wilkes Central team that beat it by 51 strokes, the Pam Pack did claim another 2-A Eastern Plains Conference title and its third regional championship in a row.