Corinth Holders put up a gallant effort in its second game against conference rival Triton in four days.
But the Pirates don’t have a Morgan Goff.
The high-scoring sophomore, who has already committed to play for Anson Dorrance at the University of North Carolina, had four goals and an assist as the host Hawks dropped Corinth Holders 6-1 on Thursday night.
The win improved Triton to 12-4-1 overall and 7-2 in the first-year Two Rivers 3A conference, assuring the Hawks of a second-place finish. Third-place Corinth Holders, which was playing at the 2A level last season, fell to 8-5 and 5-4 with one regular-season game remaining.
“We played well,” said Triton coach Eric Long, whose team had blasted the Pirates 8-1 behind six Goff goals on Monday night in Wendell. “Coming off the game of the other night we didn’t come out as aggressive as we should have, but once we got our first goal or two we started slowing the ball down.
“Morgan always makes me look good. Corinth Holders had a lot of chances tonight, but we’ve got a really good goalie (in Kala West, who finished with eight saves) and our fullbacks made some big plays.”
Triton outshot the Pirates 20-8, but by only 7-6 in the second half.
“I thought our play was much better than Monday,” Pirate coach Alison Vetterl said. “We had a little bit more confidence despite the competition. We don’t shadow somebody very often. Ava is little, but she’s spunky.”
Vetterl put athletic freshman Ava Daniels, who is a head shorter than Goff, on her for the first 75 minutes until Goff was pulled for a substitute. But Goff was able to get a goal about every 15 minutes to put the Pirates away.
She scored her first goal in the 14th minute, beating starter Rachel Witkin on the right side with Emily Neville on the helper. Then in the 29th minute, the Hawks doubled the lead off a corner kick with Goff assisting captain Barbara Godwin in the box. Goff scored on an unassisted tip-in in the 33rd minute for a 3-0 halftime lead.
The Hawks kept pouring it on in the second half against goalie Mackenzie Gray, who finished with five saves to Witkin’s eight.
Goff scored on a 40-yard rocket from Dahlia Guin in the 42nd minute, and then hit from 20 yards out on Neville’s second assist in the 56th minute for her 46th goal of the season.
“I always want to work harder than anyone else,” said Goff, who added that she had no doubts she wanted to commit to UNC if the Tar Heels offered. “Sometimes my speed is enough, and sometimes I need to work a little harder.
“(Daniels) was pretty tough. I usually have a shadow, and it doesn’t really bother me. I just kind of walk around a lot and try to annoy them (laughs).”
Guin scored unassisted in the 75th minute to make it 6-0. But the Pirates got on the board in the 78th, with freshman Jessie Thomsen tallying on an assist from classmate Summer Mitchell.
“I did all right, but there’s always room for improvement,” goalie Witkin said. “Playing against (Goff) was difficult, but we tried not to be intimidated.
“I think we learned to play better as a team this week, and learned some things we can definitely take into the state playoffs.”