Pam Pack completes season sweep of North Lenoir

Published 5:24 pm Tuesday, October 9, 2018

DEEP RUN — Playing conference rival North Lenoir for the second time within a week, the Pam Pack picked up its second convincing victory over the Hawks, defeating North Lenoir 4-0 yesterday.

Playing at South Lenoir since North Lenoir’s (8-3-1, 2-2 2A Eastern Carolina Conference) field is still unplayable after Hurricane Florence, Washington (9-4, 5-1 2A ECC) recorded just its third shutout of the season, thanks in part to the performance of Pam Pack goalie Will Crisp. Washington head coach Jim Kozuch said his defense can still improve but Crisp’s shutout can give his team more confidence defensively moving forward.

“I guess defensively we’re still a work in progress, but we got the clean sheet,” Kozuch said. “He (Crisp) did a great job. He probably had seven, eight saves. And obviously for us, we’ve given up a goal in a lot of games this year. So he did a good job keeping the clean sheet tonight.”

The game was still 0-0 at the half, but only because of the effort by North Lenoir’s goalkeeper, Orlando Gallardo. The Pam Pack possessed the ball well and created chances, but Gallardo made sure nothing got past him. But Kozuch told his team to just keep up the pressure and Washington finally broke through in the second half.

“Honestly, I just told them continue playing,” Kozuch said. “We were knocking on the door and honestly, their goalie, he robbed us three or four times in the first half. If he didn’t have a great game we would’ve blown the doors off of them. I just told them just stick with it and keep pressing.”

The Pam Pack continued moving the ball well and using its platoon of forwards, including Elvin Elizalde, Mike Reid and Danny Jimenez, to pressure the Hawks once play resumed and eventually North Lenoir broke. Jared Espinoza opened the scoring, finishing in the box from a Graham Parker throw-in. Parker set up the second goal as well, sending in a corner kick that Dawson Cox buried in the back of the net.

Tim Anglim, who had a hat trick in last week’s 8-2 win over the Hawks, scored the third goal. From the top of the box, Anglim perfectly placed his shot in the bottom-fight corner of the goal, catching Gallardo flat-footed. Oscar Espinoza capped of the game’s scoring, cleaning up after a scrum in the box.

Along with Crisp, Cody Pinkham played a key role in keeping the shutout, as the senior was tasked with marking North Lenoir’s Taiwan Hines, last year’s conference player of the year.

“Cody Pinkham, he guarded (Hines) and shut him down pretty well. Last game he played forward. They moved him to center midfield and I think he had two shots tonight. He (Cody) did a pretty good job.”

Kozuch said defeating and outscoring the Hawks, who tied Washington for the conference title last season, 12-2 over two games is a great confidence booster for his squad, especially after the loss to Greene Central where the Pam Pack had a two-goal lead at halftime.

“We definitely do see them (the Hawks) as serious competition, so obviously it means a lot to us confidence-wise,” Kozuch said. “I think maybe we underestimated Greene Central, and because we gave that one up, sometimes you got to take a step in the wrong direction to make any corrections. We let that one slide, but by winning these two (against North Lenoir), I think that our guys have been humbled and that we’re back in the right direction.”