It had been almost 30 minutes since anyone on the Corinth Holders sideline had used the benches for their intended purpose.
As the final whistle sounded on Friday night, they found a place to rest at last – on the Northern Guilford pitch.
The Pirates girls soccer team is going to the “final four” of the N.C. High School Athletic Association 3A girls soccer playoffs for the first time after a 1-0 win on the Nighthawks’ home turf.
Lexi Chase hammered a dribbling ball over the goal mouth in the 50th minute for the game’s only score.
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“Erica Boswell, she shot the ball. It’s wet outside so you know the goalie’s going to bobble it so I knew to follow,” Chase said. “As soon as she hit it I was right there and I had to toe-poke it in. It was really exciting. I didn’t know what to do after that.”
Up next is a trip to Fayetteville to face Terry Sanford (24-0-1), the No. 1 overall seed that defeated Jacksonville 2-1 on Friday.
“We just settled down and we had to maintain possession,” coach Alison Vetterl said. “It was just tough all around and my kids just did a great job and dug deep.”
Corinth Holders wasn’t intimidated at all against Northern Guilford, despite the latter having more of a soccer pedigree and having a better overall record while in a tougher league.
Instead, the Pirates (18-4-1) controlled the game’s first 25 minutes with shot after shot. Northern (17-2) took over the last 15 before halftime but there was still no score.
“You just can’t look at the record,” Chase said. “It doesn’t matter how many wins or losses you have, it matters how much heart you have.”
In the second half, the game was played evenly until Chase’s score changed the complexion.
Corinth Holders was in control.
The Pirates nearly the doubled the lead on a few occasions when they caught the Nighthawks pushing too many people forward. Neither side scored, though Corinth Holders had to survive a few close calls.
The Pirates survived, now they advance.
“This is what it’s all about, sticking together and moving on,” Vetterl said.