In a rematch of last year’s fourth-round playoff thriller, Fuquay-Varina defeated Panther Creek 3-1 in a Southwest Wake Athletic Conference showdown Wednesday night.
The Bengals (4-2-1, 3-1-1), which entered the week No. 3 in the N&O area rankings but lost 1-0 to No. 4 Middle Creek on Monday, scored all three goals on corner kicks.
Kelly Suggs’ redirect off her heel in the 35th minute was followed by Megan Greene’s headers in the 52nd and 59th.
“We work on those constantly and have some girls who can get on the end of them, as you can see, with good service in the box,” Fuquay-Varina coach Nic Acosta said. “We will take them anyway we can get them.”
No. 12 Panther Creek (6-4-1, 5-3), which scored on a breakaway as Emily Moxley laid off a pass for the trailing Rose Faustyn in the 31st minute, continues to navigate a tough schedule without one of the best returning players from last year’s 4A title team, Meredith Hamby.
The Catamounts’ other losses have come to No. 1 Leesville Road, No. 4 Middle Creek and No. 7 Green Hope
“I wouldn’t want it any other way as a coach,” PC coach David Grant said. “Come early May, mid-May, late-May it’s all beneficial to you.”
Kelley Suggs stands all of 5 feet, 2 inches, so she didn’t use her head to score on a corner kick from Kristina Sedivy.
Instead, Suggs found a spot at the front post and let the ball meet her foot, scoring much like a hockey player who purposefully lets the puck hit a skate.
“We just dummy it and it goes in,” Suggs said.
Sedivy, Lauren Ramage and Trinity Davis had the assists on the corner kicks, showing the Bengals’ depth.
Out of bounds
Players must be substituted out on yellow cards, but Panther Creek has no backup goalkeeper after expected starter Elizabeth Kelly suffered a ruptured tendon in her foot before the season.
So when Fuquay-Varina drew a penalty in the eighth minute, and PC goalkeeper Katherine Hammond was called for a yellow card for playing the player and not the ball in the box, reserve defender Megan Sefton threw on a pinnie and got in the game.
“I turned, walked down the line and said ‘Hey, somebody’s got to go in there step up.’ Who knew what was going to happen, right?” Grant said. “I said to her ‘Just make an effort.’”
Sefton guessed right, covering up the Bengals’ attempt and didn’t even need goalie mitts to do so.
She was greeted with incredulous hugs from her teammates, then exited the field at the next stoppage for Hammond.
They said it
“I don’t think we’ve beat them since I was in eighth grade,” Greene said. “It definitely feels good.”