Hoggard soccer falls short in regional; Topsail softball faces must-win situation

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Soccer

No. 3 Panther Creek 2    No. 5 Hoggard 1

For the second straight year, the Hoggard girls soccer team fell to Panther Creek in the 4A East Regional as the third-seeded Catamounts found the game-winner in the 69th minute to knock the No. 5 Vikings out of the playoffs in a 2-1 result in Cary on Tuesday night.

Hoggard saw its run through the playoffs come to an end on Tuesday. Photo courtesy- Rodney Williams
Hoggard saw its run through the playoffs come to an end on Tuesday. Photo courtesy Rodney Williams.

Sayres McKenna put Hoggard in front midway through the first half when the senior standout hit the back of the net off a penalty kick, but Lindsay Haney recorded the equalizer off a free kick just before the break to tie things up headed into the final 40 minutes of regulation.

The Catamounts began to control possession in the second half and Rachael Everheart notched the go ahead goal on a header off a corner kick by Briana Velasquez to send Panther Creek to Saturday’s 4A State Championship against Providence at N.C. State’s Dail Soccer Field.

McKenna’s goal for the Vikings marked the first time unbeaten Panther Creek trailed all season.

The Catamounts improved to 19-0-2 on the year, while Hoggard dropped to 21-3-2 as Mideastern Conference Champions. The Vikings only appearance in a state title match was in 2010.

The setback marked the end of a brilliant high school career for McKenna, who’s headed to Western Carolina next year to continue her athletic career and education. Maddie Crumpton will also play soccer at Salem College next semester, while classmates Emily Frank and Madison Huckabee wrapped up successful seasons.

Softball

No. 2 Northern Guilford 11    No. 5 Topsail 2

The Topsail softball team faces a must-win situation as the Pirates fell 11-2 to No. 2 Northern Guilford in game one of the best-of-three 3A east regional in Greensboro on Tuesday.

The Topsail softball team looks to keep its season alive on Wednesday.
The Topsail softball team looks to keep its season alive on Wednesday.

Hayley Grizzle put fifth-seeded Topsail on the board with an RBI single in the top of the first, but the Nighthawks rallied for two in the bottom of the frame and never looked back.

The one-run lead grew to a 4-1 advantage after two before the Pirates closed the deficit until Hunter Hall delivered a two-run single to make it 6-2 in favor of Northern Guilford, which was followed by a two-out passed ball and another run for the Nighthawks.

The five-run cushion grew to a 9-2 lead in the fourth as Northern Guilford put the game way.

Grizzle finished with two hits on the night for the Pirates, who fell to 20-7 overall. The Nighthawks improved to 24-2 overall and 14-1 at home this season.

Game two is scheduled for Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. in Hampstead.