North Raleigh Christian sophomore Autumn Esposito led the way for the Knights Friday in a decisive 4-0 victory at Ravenscroft.
Esposito netted goals at six minutes, 18 minutes, and 48 minutes, and junior Sydney Pierce added a goal in the 54th in the Triangle Independent Schools Athletic Conference win.
Friday’s hat trick was further proof of Esposito’s growthinto be a difference-maker this season, Knights coach Ed Pinion said.
"She’s really stepped up. She kind of came on strong in the second half of the season for us last year, and she’s just stepped into that role,” he said. “She’s done really well. She’s just really been producing for us, which is really great."
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Looking forward, Pinion saw the win at Ravenscroft as a building block to the "big goal," of getting into state playoffs.
"That’s always an incentive for our team because for so many years, we’ve been beaten and at the bottom of the conference,” Pinion said. “So the last couple of years, we’ve been in the middle of the pack. It’s been good to put one under our belt and gain more confidence and just keep taking steps forward as a team. Games like these are what’s helping me out as well as them as a team too."
On the other side of the field, Ravenscroft fell to 1-6. Coach Dena Floyd assessed the game, saying, "we definitely didn’t play to our standard in the first half. I think the second half we got better.
“Knowing that, I was telling the girls after the game that despite the result, we just have to get better every game. We just have to get better at what we’re doing. We have to get better at what we learned in practice and what we took from the last games and improve."