All playoff wins are special. But when East Wake Academy traveled to Buxton and upset No. 16-seeded Cape Hatteras, 9-0, in the first round of the N.C. High School Athletic Association 1A girls soccer playoffs on Wednesday, it was more than just special. It was historic.
It marked the first playoff win in the five-year history of varsity soccer at EWA, and even greater, the first playoff win in any sport in school history.
Cape Hatteras (0-12) got an automatic bid into the playoffs as one of three 1A girls soccer teams in the split Coastal Ten Conference.
The No. 17 Eagles, which finished fourth in the North Central Athletic Conference, improved to 12-7-2 and advanced to face NCAC champion Franklin Academy in the second round. The top-seeded Patriots (18-1) defeated No. 32 Chatham Charter 11-0 in the opening round Wednesday.
Franklin Academy won both its regular-season contests against EWA, topping the Eagles 9-0 in Wake Forest in March and 7-0 at the Bailey-Middlesex Park in April.
Postseasons cut short: The East Wake Academy baseball and softball teams’ postseasons were short lived, with both crews falling in the first round of the N.C. High School Athletic Association 1A playoffs Tuesday.
In softball, No. 28 seeded Spring Creek upset the No. 5 seed EWA team, 7-3.
The loss closed out a landmark season for the Eagles, the North Central Athletic 1A champs who finished with a 16-3 mark.
Spring Creek (8-11), which finished fifth in the Carolina 1A Conference, posted a pair of runs in the opening frame only to have them negated by three EWA runs in the bottom of the inning.
The Gators went on to post four more runs in the fifth and their final notch in the sixth while holding the Eagles’ offense silent.
“We just didn’t hit as we should have and that just contributed to not being able to put runs up,” said coach Rich Thompson.
Reaching the second round of the playoffs was a goal for the Eagles, but missing that goal doesn’t overshadow the accomplishments the program witnessed this season, the coach said.
“The varsity program is four years old and this team was able to bring the first conference championship to EWA, and also just an overall winning season with a 16-3 record,” Thompson said. “It’s phenomenal what they’ve done, and looking forward, I fell like there’s more for them. At the end of the day it’s a game and there’s always a winner and loser, and unfortunately we didn’t bring enough to the table to finish it.”
The No. 28 seeded EWA baseball team (6-9) saw its season end in a 13-0 defeat to No. 5 seed Riverside (17-7) in Williamston. The Two River 1A Conference champs won in five innings, scoring five runs in the first, three each in the second and third innings, and two more in the fourth.
The Knights posted eight hits to the Eagles’ one in the game.