DAVIDSON – Davidson Day’s march toward a potential third straight girls soccer state championship got an early test.
The Patriots withstood first-half pressure to beat Rocky Mount Academy 2-0 in an N.C. Independent School Athletic Association 2A second-round playoff May 14. Davidson Day (17-3) advanced to the semifinal May 17 in Asheville.
The first 15 minutes were a bit sluggish as Davidson Day couldn’t sustain ball control. That changed in a dramatic four-minute span. Caitlyn Rodrigues, a senior midfielder, gave Davidson Day a 1-0 lead when she scored on a free kick from 25 yards. Four minutes later, Rodrigues booted a long, high pass over Rocky Mount’s defense. Davidson Day freshman Hannah Wolter corralled the loose ball, broke in alone on net and drilled in a low shot for a 2-0 lead.
“I saw Wolly running and knew she could do it,” Rodrigues said. “She’s done it before.”
Davidson Day controlled the rest of the half and limited Rocky Mount (12-5-3) to two shots.
“They probably pressured us as much, if not more, than anybody we’ve seen all year,” Davidson Day coach Chad Metzler said. “In the beginning of the first half, we struggled. The play was forward, but it wasn’t under control. The first goal settled the game down a bit.”
Said Rodrigues: “We were really pumped for the game, but we were a little too excited maybe. Once was got ourselves together, calmed down and realized it was a winnable game, we took it minute-by-minute. We can’t worry about the final. We have to take it game-by-game, goal-by-goal and not get ahead of ourselves.”
Other playoff teams
• Hough: The Huskies were dominant in their first two N.C. 4A playoffs, beating Alexander Central 6-0 on May 7 and Olympic 10-1 on May 10. Hough (18-2), the reigning 4A champion, was scheduled to play at Indian Trail Sun Valley on May 15 in a third-round game.
Hough’s offense against Alexander Central was led by Lydia Drakeford (two goals and an assist), Brandi Arey and Courtney Carroll (goal and assist each), Emmily Cowie (goal) and Sarah Moon (goal, two assists). Goalkeeper Marnie Merritt was in net for the shutout.
Hough’s goal-scorers against Olympic were Alex Denny, Carroll and Moon (two each), Arey, Cowie, Drakeford and Ashley Johnson. Moon had three assists and Johnson had two. The game was ended with 10 minutes left because of the nine-goal mercy rule.
• Lake Norman Charter: The Knights didn’t allow any goals in their first two N.C. 1A playoffs, beating West Montgomery 9-0 on May 8 and South Stokes 2-0 on May 11. Lake Norman Charter (15-3-3) were scheduled to play at Union Academy in a third-round game May 15.
Julia Johnson and Erin Iknayan scored goals in the victory against South Stokes. Goalkeeper Carolyn Huddy was in net for the shutout.
Charter’s goal-scorers against West Montgomery were Leanne Smithers and Iknayan (two each), Carolina Sanchez, Johnson, Huddy, Riley Kane and Rachel Quest.