Ashley 2 Hoggard 2
Ashley and Hoggard played to a 2-2 draw in their regular season finale on Thursday night after the Screaming Eagles found its second equalizer of the match with two minutes to play in regulation when Josh Chapman’s header tied the game off a corner kick from Duenis Avila.
“I’m real proud of my team tonight,” said Ashley Coach Greg Marinich. “We’ve been done a number of times during the year and we don’t get rattled. We stay with the game plan and we fortunate to get that goal late.”
The evenly played contest featured some of the area’s top players as Jared Robertson put the Vikings on the board in the 26th minute to give the home side a 1-0 lead, thanks to an assist from Andrew Robinson.
Espin Gilbert-Jennings drew even for Ashley six minutes later when the senior midfielder cleaned up a deflection after a free kick to level the contest headed into the break.
“Tip your hat off to Hoggard,” Marinich added. “They’ve had a heck of a season. We kept the pressure up. It was just a great game.”
Robinson found the back of the net for Hoggard midway through the second half after shaking a defender loose just inside the right edge of the penalty area and fired a shot on the second touch into lower left edge of frame to put the Vikings back in front. Cesar Cruz picked up the assist by sending a looping ball into the 18 yard box.
With the Vikings in position to grab the result, Ashley pushed forward in the final five minutes to earn the corner kick and eventual game-tying goal.
The Screaming Eagles finished the regular season 10-1-1 as Mideastern Conference Champions and 19-1-1 overall. Hoggard fell to 8-4 in league play and 11-7-3. Both teams now await their draw for the 4A state playoffs.
New Hanover 3 Topsail 2
Shaffer Lisle tallied twice and Jackson Lumpkin grabbed two assists to give New Hanover a 3-2 result over Topsail.
Ledbin Velasquez also found the back of the net and Juan Rosales scored for the second straight game to lead the Wildcats. Roman Lewis had three saves in net, while Lisle and Jack Kiernan recorded an assist.
New Hanover finished the regular season 8-4 in conference and 16-7-1 overall. The Wildcats will likely play a road game to open the 4A playoffs early next week.
Laney 4 West Brunswick 3
Laney erased a two-goal deficit on Thursday night to pick up a 4-3 win over West Brunswick.
Tristan Murphy scored twice in the early stages of the first half for the Trojans and West Brunswick grabbed a 3-1 advantage with 30 minutes to play in the match when the Bucs erupted for three goals over the final half hour.
Laney moved to 8-3 in conference and can clinch second place in the division with a result against South Brunswick on Friday. The Bucs are now 14-3-3 overall.
3A playoffs (third round)
No. 1 Cedar Ridge 3 No. 8 Topsail 0
(25-15, 25-19, 25-20)
Topsail dropped a 3-0 match to top ranked Cedar Ridge on Thursday night as the Pirates saw their season come to a close in the third round of the 3A playoffs.
Payton Shoenleber had 15 assists, while Marlee Marotta recorded 16 service points and 10 digs. Madi Ford also added seven kills.
Cedar Ridge faces winner of No. 21 Orange/No. 13 Lee County in the fourth round as the 3A state tournament was narrowed down to eight teams following Thursday’s action.
Dual-team Tennis playoffs (second-round)
Union Pines 9 Topsail 0
Singles: No. 1 Mary Beth Jackson (UP) def. Carmen Jordan (T) 7-6 (7-2) , 6-1; No. 2 Hailee Haymore (UP) def. Caroline Harris (T) 4-6,6-4(10-6); No. 3 Julianne Hall (UP) def. Stephanie Athanas (T) 6-0 6-0; No. 4 Megan Smith (UP) def. Xueyang Li (T) 6-3 6-1; No. 5 Sarah Nicholson (UP) def. Sierra Dougherty (T) 6-3 6-1; No. 6 Meagan Pusser (UP) def. Elvie Parra (T) 6-4 7-5
Doubles: No. 1 Jackson/Haymore (UP) def. Jordan/Harris (T) 8-6; No. 2 Hall/Smith (UP)def Athanas/Li 8-2 (T); No. 3 Nicholson/Pusser (UP) def. Dougherty/Sara Major (T) 8-2