Green Hope was expected to be a girls soccer power this season, and the Falcons have been. They are 6-0 with five shutouts and are averaging 6.33 goals per game.
Elitesoccerreport.com has Green Hope ranked No. 1 in the country, Cornelius Hough ranked No. 5 and Millbrook No. 14.
Green Hope was undefeated in 2012 before losing to Hough in the N.C. High School Athletic Association championship game. It has allowed only one goal this season.
No. 1 is not an unusual position for Green Hope, said Sheldon Shealer, who has done the soccer rankings for several years. Green Hope would have finished No. 1 last year if it hadnt lost the last game.
Shealer believes Green Hope and Tulsa (Okla.) Bishop Kelly have an edge on all the other teams in the country, but he wouldnt be surprised if Green Hope and Hough meet in the N.C. 4A finals again with the top ranking on the line.
Alexis Shaffer (11 goals, seven assists) and Alexis Degler (nine goals, five assists) lead Green Hopes attack.
Leesville Road has been almost as outstanding. The Pride is 5-0-1, including a 0-0 tie with Southern Pines Pinecrest in the opener, and had not allowed a goal until squeaking past rival Broughton 2-1 on Wednesday.
Junior Mary Kate Bowers has nine goals and four assists.
Millbrook (5-0) plays Green Hope next Thursday.
Tri-Nine baseball: A key 4-1 baseball victory against Green Hope on Wednesday night left Fuquay-Varina (4-0) and Middle Creek (4-3) with 3-0 records in the Tri-Nine. Green Hope (4-1) and Holly Springs (4-1) are 2-1 in the league.
I think most people expect Fuquay and Middle Creek to fight for the top of the conference, said Green Hope coach Mike Miragliuolo. We should be right there as well as Holly Springs.
Holly Springs coach Rodney Whitesell said the league race might come down to which team can win the most close games.
Brian Fortier is leading Holly Springs with a .533 batting average and Andrew Elwell is hitting .400. Pitcher Andy Wantz is 2-0 with 16 strikeouts in nine innings.
Miragliuolo said Green Hope needs some players to return to the lineup.
Stephen Pitarra and Luca Scelsi are two of our top players and both have missed the season with hamstring injuries, Miragliuolo said. Jonathan Newbold is our leadoff hitter and centerfielder and he will miss this week and some of next because of a death in the family.
Wake Forest streak: Wake Forest-Rolesvilles softball team extended its conference winning streak to 137 games with an 8-3 victory over Heritage on Monday and the Cougars had their best offensive game of the season on Wednesday in an 18-3 nonconference win against Holly Springs.
Wake Forest lost its opener to East Wake 6-4 after leading 4-3 with two outs in the seventh. An error helped start the East Wake rally.
Wake Forest first baseman Katy Holt has three doubles and four singles in her past seven at bats.
Brittany soccer: The annual Brittany Soccer Showcase for girls is scheduled on Friday and Saturday at the Gillette Athletic Complex in Wilson.
Among the teams are East Chapel Hill, Carrboro, Millbrook, Cardinal Gibbons, East Wake, Middle Creek, Garner, Clayton, West Johnston, Corinth Holders, North Johnston, Bunn and Franklin Academy.
The schedule is at: http://blogs.newsobserver.com/prepsnow/the-brittany-ix-soccer-showcase-schedule.
Strikeouts: Lauren Batten of North Johnston has struck out 61 batters in five games while leading the Panthers to a 5-0 softball start. She has signed with North Carolina.
Millbrooks Brian Nobles leads area baseball pitchers with 21 strikeouts in 14 1/3 innings. He has both of the Wildcats (2-3) wins.
Roberson gets eighth: Will Roberson of Broughton finished eighth in the 5,000 meters in the New Balance Indoor Nationals last weekend in New York. He ran a 15:08.25.
Davis gets second: Former Southeast Raleigh hurdler Wayne Davis finished second in the NCAA indoor championships last weekend in Fayetteville, Ark. Davis, who runs for Texas A&M, ran a 7.59 to set the school record.
Davis was second behind Floridas Eddie Lovett, who set the NCAA Indoor record with a 7.5. Former Charlotte Butler runner Spence Adams of Clemson was third (7.60).
Davis also was second in the NCAA outdoor championships last year.
Broughton baseball camp: The 10th annual Blayne Brown Broughton Baseball Camp will be held on Saturday March 23.
The camp is for children ages 7 to 12 and is free. Contact Chris Newton (firstname.lastname@example.org). An alumni game follows the camp.
J. Mike Blake contributed