Alexis Pendergraft wanted to tell the truth. Pendergraft didn’t think she and her Millbrook teammates would get this good this fast.
The Wildcats still are undefeated. More than half of the season is finished. In the 10 years Matt Edwards has been the coach, the Wildcats have never had the chance for a perfect season. Now, after a 3-1 victory over Enloe on Wednesday night, the Wildcats are four matches away from achieving the accomplishment.
“It’s definitely surprising,” Pendergraft said. “We’ve had some big wins this year, and it’s been a lot of fun.”
The Wildcats (13-0, 10-0 Cap Eight 4A) already have swept conference opponents Broughton, Wake Forest-Rolesville and now Enloe (4-7-2, 1-7-1).
Pendergraft, a midfielder, scored the Wildcats’ first goal of the match – and it too was a surprise. In the 18th minute, Millbrook controlled the ball and crossed midfield. Pendergraft received a pass and looked upfield. No Eagle was near her.
Her teammates and the Eagles wondered what she would do. In a bold move, Pendergraft put her head down and took a shot with her right foot from 35 yards away.
Pendergraft’s low-arching shot curved against the wind and went past Enloe goalkeeper Jhana Parikh.
“You have to be willing to take a risk and see what happens,” Pendergraft said. “I just wanted to take a strike.”
Forward Kathleen Markey was glad Pendergraft shocked Enloe with her long goal.
“It was sweet,” Markey said. “It was outside the box, too. Who doesn’t like those kinds of goals?”
A few seconds later Millbrook scored again. This time, forward Colleen Markey, Kathleen’s sister, ran past the Eagles and kicked her shot with enough power it went through Parikh’s hands.
Kathleen Markey’s goal was similar to Pendergraft’s.
Markey noticed Parikh had come out of the penalty box in the 24th minute. Markey’s long ball went over Parikh and landed in the back of the net.
“They are willing to take a chance,” Edwards said of the goals by Pendergraft and Kathleen Markey.
The Wildcats possessed the ball so well for much of the match, they didn’t have to play a lot of defense.
Enloe’s lone goal came in the 71st minute. Forward Taylor Brown found the net on a breakaway goal against Julia Maron, Millbrook’s backup goalkeeper.
Earlier this season, the Wildcats defeated the Eagles 4-2. Edwards said that match was a turning point because the Wildcats understood the value of possessing the ball more than their opponent.
“They started to really figure out some things from that that game,” Edwards said. “We’ve continued to eliminate scoring chances for the other team.”
Since the first match with Enloe, no team has scored two goals on Millbrook.
Edwards also hasn’t had to change his lineup or the Wildcats’ formation this season. The Wildcats say the consistency has worked.
“We’ve worked really well together,” Markey said. “We are more willing to try new things. We trust each other.”