The Middle Creek girls lacrosse team may be making its first foray into the playoffs in its 10 years of existence, but it sure doesn’t seem that way.
The Mustangs burst through the postseason gate Wednesday, crushing visiting Jacksonville 20-6 in an NCHSAA playoff opener.
If Middle Creek had any angst about playing on a bigger stage it certainly didn’t show it, quickly shaking off a 1-0 deficit with 11 straight goals en route to a 13-3 halftime lead.
Junior Holly Hite, who scored three of her team’s first six goals, said her team was on its game pretty much from the opening buzzer.
“We had a really good passing game today and we worked well together as a team,” said Hite, whose team improved to 5-10 overall and moved into a second-round battle at Broughton on Saturday.
“Our conference is one of the best and it helped us get ready,” Hite added.
Hite had help, as Madison Boudreau also tacked on three early goals for the victors.
Boudreau liked how her team responded to Caitlin Wolf’s goal for Jacksonville just 15 seconds in.
“Allowing the first goal in a match has happened to us a few times before,” Boudreau said. “It’s gotten us going, like it did today.”
The Cardinals couldn’t generate much offense, meanwhile, only taking advantage of a brief span early in the second half when Middle Creek coach Rosemarie Piccirillo opted to use several reserves.
The Onslow County school took advantage with three straight goals to cut its deficit to 15-6 with 10:30 remaining.
The Mustangs starters raced back in, however, and rolled up five straight goals for the final margin.
Piccirillo said she and her players were excited just to be in the playoffs and the strong performance only added to their joy.
“This is a great opportunity for the girls,” Piccirillo said. “I thought we moved the ball well offensively and transitioned really well.”
“This was a nice solid win,” she added.