Carrboro’s girls soccer team has made a name for itself because of its superb play on defense.
Last year, the Jaguars gave up two goals during their run to a N.C. Athletics Association state championship. During the 2016 regular season, the Jaguars gave up only three goals – zero against fellow 2A opponents.
That same brand of defense and freshman forward Alexa Wojnovich’s ability to score were on full display Wednesday as N&O No. 7 Carrboro (16-1-2) defeated Southern Vance (7-16) in the first round of the NCHSAA 2A playoffs, winning 9-0 in a mercy-rule shortened contest.
Wojnovich scored a team-high four goals and sophomore defender Gabby Adams added two scores of her own in the win, which was the Jaguars’ seventh straight.
A second round matchup with either Beddingfield or South Lenoir now awaits coach Jared Drexler’s squad.
The game was Carrboro’s first in nine days and while Drexler was glad about the win, he thinks his team could have played at a higher level.
“It seemed like it took a while to get it going, but I don’t think we were quite happy with the way we played,” Drexler said. “I think we’re capable of playing better, but at the end we got the job done.”
Facing a Southern Vance team which had lost nine of its last 10 contests, Carrboro was able to shake off a bit of a slow start and exploited several weaknesses in the Raiders’ defense.
Goals by Wojnovich and Adams in the 11th and 17th minutes put Carrboro ahead by two. The Jaguars scored three more times in a five-minute span late in the first half to lead 5-0 come halftime.
Wojnovich scored her final goal of the day in the 44th minute, and Carrboro added three more goals in the next six minutes to bring the game to an abrupt end.
Wojnovich attributed her big day to her teammates’ ability to pass and find open looks for her.
“I credit my teammates. It was mostly their hard work just finding me, finding passes and connecting with each other,” Wojnovich said. “And I just happened to be on the end of some.”
After her stellar performance against the Raiders, Wojnovich now has 25 goals on the season and Drexler said her importance to Carrboro goes beyond scoring goals.
“She means a lot to us. In the beginning of the year we were hurt and she had to fill in more of a defensive role and when we finally started to get a little healthy, we pushed her up and she’s been scoring a lot of goals for us,” Drexler said. “You see her scoring the goals, but it’s some of the other stuff that she does off the ball that sometimes gets overlooked.”
Wednesday’s game was Carrboro’s 15th clean sheet of the season, and the Jaguars limited Southern Vance’s scoring chances by dominating the possession battle, which has been the case for most of the year, Drexler said.
Still, Wojnovich believes Carrboro has much to work on before its second round game.
“I feel like shots on goal is a big thing we’re going to work on and definitely just making sure our communication is key,” Wojnovich said.