As a senior, Christina Gibbons knows her days in a Cardinal Gibbons uniform are coming to an end. If she continues to play like she did Wednesday, her high school career will be extended to the limit. The Duke recruit scored five goals to help her team to a 9-0 win against Burlington Williams in the third round of the North Carolina High School Athletic Association 3A girls’ soccer playoffs.
Gibbons dominated from the outset, scoring twice during the first two minutes. She added two more goals before halftime for a 4-0 lead.
“My teammates set me up really well. I couldn’t do it without them,” Gibbons said. “We just went for it, and we got a great start. If we continue to start like that, things will go well.”
Like the crowd, Cardinal Gibbons coach Michele Miller was in awe of the performance her midfielder put on.
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“She’s a very special player,” Miller said. “She trains as hard as she plays, so there’s never a let-off with her.”
Gibbons would add one goal during the second half, as did Kathleen Hickey, Zoe Crabtree, Elizabeth Sabatelli and Amanda Boney. Boney’s goal with 7 minutes, 25 seconds left ended the game.
“Our substitutes that came on continued what the starters were doing,” Miller said. “They picked it up and really kept up the intensity.”
Burlington Williams coach Dennis Deutschle said his team was overmatched.
“They are a fantastic team. I take nothing from them,” he said. “They are a private school and they are stacked with talent. It’s very difficult for a public school team to compete against that.”
Cardinal Gibbons advanced to face Northern Guilford in the state quarterfinals.
The Crusaders are a perennial playoff team in girls’ soccer, but a state title has eluded them the past few years. Miller said she feels her team has matured and is pleased with the way it is playing.
“It’s just playing strong and hard every game,” she said. “Regardless of what the situation is, our emphasis is on just playing the game.”