Girls Varsity Soccer
Game Summaries & Headlines.
Kai Jones: Kinston Free Press
A second straight trip to the NCISAA soccer semifinals was decided by defense as Arendell Parrott Academy took down Fayetteville Academy 1-0 on Saturday.
Leading by the final score with 13 seconds left, the Patriots (15-5) had to defend a corner kick. The Eagles got their best look at the goal on the day when they got a header that hit the top of the goalpost.
“The difference between us and them moving on is the ball hitting the post,” APA coach Shivar Person said. “But that’s what it’s all about, a game of inches, and Allie Grant’s best friend came up with the save today.”
Person joked that the goalpost was goalie Allie Grant Avery’s best friend, but the reality was that Avery and the entire Patriots defense was on par. The Patriots have not allowed a goal in 598 minutes of play, about 7 1/2 games.
The Patriots picked up their 12th shutout of the season without senior defenseman Melani Newell, who got injured early first half. Person lauded junior bench player Gabbie Carrier for stepping in and contributing.
“I was proud to play Melani’s role, basically just start the game the way she finished it,” Carrier said.
Despite how well the Patriots defense played, the Eagles matched them, shutting them out with their 9-player back strategy.
That was until Rachael Lee broke through in the 53rd minute.
“I really didn’t want to miss a second free kick, I felt really bad about missing the first one,” Lee said. “I was thinking I always go left, so I thought I tried to sneak one in to the right, glad it made it inside the post, I was scared it was going to go out again.”
The Patriots now turn their attention to Asheville Christian Academy (12-2-3), the team that put them out of the playoffs in Asheville last year in the semifinals, but this year the Patriots will be at home. After the game, the head coach of Fayetteville Academy came up to APA team and told him they can win the states, because he had seen Asheville Academy play.
“We lost 10 players from last year’s team, and no one thought that we’d be back in this spot on this field with this opportunity,” Person said. “The good thing is we got another game, so we can enjoy this one tonight, but the focus turns to Asheville Christian once we walk off this field. Last year we got there, and we went to Asheville and lost, so we get a little chance hopefully at some redemption. This year, they get to make the travel to us, and we’re looking forward to the opportunity.”
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