Sunday, March 26, 2023

Ashley soccer rising with key result over Laney; Coastal Christian soccer, volleyball sweeps Cape Fear Academy

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WILMINGTON — With zero training time leading into Tuesday’s key Mideastern Conference match due to school closures and weather postponements, Ashley and Laney weren’t as sharp as either side would have liked to have been. But, the Screaming Eagles held off a surge late in the first half and slotted two scores after the break to earn a regular season sweep over their crosstown counterparts following a 3-1 result at Holliday Stadium.

 Ashley controlled possession and used a quick counter right from the opening whistle. The Bucs looked a little out of sorts after an entire week off and goal keeper Owen Platt was one his toes early and often. The strong push from the Screaming Eagles turned into a pair of corner kicks three minutes into the match and Platt was up to the test to keep the visitors from Monkey Junction off the board.

However, that changed in the 11th minute when Dom Toone was brought down in the box to set up Josh Chapman’s first goal of the night. Platt guessed correctly on Chapman’s shot from the penalty spot, but the senior striker put home the rebound for the 1-0 lead.

Laney found their legs facing the one score deficit and put together a strong 20 minutes of play, eventually recording the equalizer in the 30th minute on a service from Cameron Herzog. His corner kick from the near sideline connected with Tristan Nelson, who deflected the pass into the back of the net for his 20th goal of the season.

The Bucs mounted a few more scoring chances late in the opening period, including a shot from Nelson that rang off the right post. Platt finished with six saves in the opening 40 minutes.

Cale Manning put Ashley ahead for good eight minutes into second half after beating his man around the left edge and slotting the go ahead goal inside lower right frame, while Chapman added the big insurance goal to finish off the effort.

The Screaming Eagles remain atop the conference standings, improving to 7-1 in league play and 9-3-1 overall. Ashley has won three straight heading into a pair of winnable games against South Brunswick (10/13) and West Brunswick (10/17) before facing New Hanover (10/20) and Hoggard (10/27) to close the regular season.

 Laney (4-3, 8-5-2) continues a crucial stretch with a home date against Hoggard on Oct. 13.

Coastal Christian 2    Cape Fear Academy 0

The Centurions spoiled Cape Fear Academy’s senior day celebration as Coastal Christian netted a pair of second half goals in a 2-0 shutout on Tuesday. Tommy Murphy and Douglas McKinney scored for the Centurions, who closed the regular season with an 18-2-1 overall record.

New Hanover vs. South Brunswick PPD

Hoggard vs. Topsail   PPD



Ashley  3     Laney 2

(22-25, 25-16, 20-25, 25-22, 15-11)

Laney stats: Hannah Freas: Kills (9) Digs (16); Sarah Shropshire: Kills (7) Digs (7); Alanne Francis: Digs (14); Anna Morgan: Aces (3), Kills (6), Digs (5); Meredith Pooley: Aces (6), Kills (3), Assists (6), Digs (28); Alex Erling: Kills (5), Assists (24), Digs (6)

Coastal Christian  3   Cape Fear Academy 1

(26-28, 25-21, 25-12, 25-23)


New Hanover vs. South Brunswick PPD

Topsail at Hoggard   PPD

South Brunswick at West Brunswick PPD


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