Leesville Road, the 2011 girls’ soccer champion, took the first step in this year’s N.C. High School Athletic Association 4A tournament with a 5-1 win over Panther Creek on Tuesday.
The Pride (23-1-1) played at home in the second round against Apex.
Pride senior Caroline Gentry had two goals and an assist in the first half. The two scores gave her 28 on the season, one more than last year.
Her first score came just 26 seconds into the game. Sophomore Mary Kate Bowers took the ball down the right side, passed to the middle, and Gentry mis-hit one shot before scoring.
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Just three minutes later Gentry took the ball to the middle and scored on an unassisted goal from about 18 yards. Panther Creek (10-8-1) then got its only goal on a long shot by Courtney Cash off a pass from Taylor Francis.
Gentry then had her assist, a strong pass to junior Rachel Radulovich, who also scored in the second half.
Freshman Jordan Mareno added the final Pride score.
“I thought this was a really tough first-round draw for both teams,” Leesville coach Paul Dinkenor said. “Panther Creek is a very good team. They had good players and played hard the whole game. We scored five very nice goals and got off to a very good start. We came out ready to play.”