PCA Soccer: three wins in three days

Published 2:21 pm Saturday, April 30, 2022

The first-year Pungo Christian Academy girls soccer team made a strong return from spring break by winning three matches in three days to end the regular season.

The Lady Raiders wrapped up the Tar Heel Independent Conference regular season title Monday with a 4-1 victory over second-place Ridgecroft of Ahoskie at home. Julia Rouse scored twice while Katie Baxter and Destiny Midgette found the net once for the win.

The Albemarle School of Elizabeth City came to Belhaven for Tuesday’s senior night contest. PCA recognized Kaitlyn Carowan, Audrey Gibbs, Core Blaine Noble and Ashley Pippin as the first senior class in program history. All four scored in the 9-0 rout, including Gibbs, who is the Raiders goalkeeper. Her first career goal came on a penalty kick minutes into the first half. Carowan notched her first as well, as eight different Raiders scored.

Pungo pulled out a 1-0 victory at Lawrence Academy in Merry Hill Wednesday to end the regular season. Baxter scored on a free kick from 40 yards out 10 minutes into the second half for the only score.

 “I couldn’t be prouder of these girls” head coach Logan Van Staalduinen said. “Three games in three days are never easy, especially with just a 15 girl roster. To win all three and claim the regular season championship is awesome. With 13 out of 15 girls having never played before, to reach this achievement is really special. We are excited to have a chance at a conference tournament championship next week before moving on to the state tournament.”

The Raiders lost four of their first five matches, then won eight of their last nine to finish 9-5 and 8-1 in conference play, with their lone loss coming at Ridgecroft in double overtime.

PCA shut out five of their nine conference opponents and only gave up more than one goal once during conference play.

Pungo girls teams have now swept the TIC for the second consecutive year in regular season championships, adding soccer to the titles won in volleyball, basketball and softball.

The Raiders will face Albemarle School next week in the first round of the TIC tournament and with a win will face Ridgecroft or Lawrence Academy in the championship.