Catholic ends Warriors' girls soccer season in 4th round
The girls soccer program at Weddington High is consistently successful.
The Warriors reached the 3A state quarterfinals this season after capturing the Southern Carolina Conference title, but their run came to an end on Saturday — when Charlotte Catholic ended WHS' season with an 8-4 road win.
Weddington's 2013 season concludes with an 18-5-1 record.
The Warriors have won at least one playoff game since moving down to the 3A classification in 2010, and have rolled up a 67-19-6 record in that time frame.
The Warriors couldn't overcome an early 3-0 deficit as the Cougars (20-2-3), and went into halftime down 4-1.
"The first half, we gave them two and a half goals," said WHS coach Powell Williams. "Jane (Cline), their center forward, is a hard worker. I told them going in she was going to get her chances but we kind of had to gang up on her. Even though we did, some of the balls didn't bounce our way and they kind of got behind us. Some defensive lapses cost us."
Ana Waits put the Cougars on the board with 25:36 remaining in the first half. Five minutes later Cline found Lindsey Tully for a 2-0 lead.
Emily Nelson made it 3-0 just six minutes later when she put in a corner kick from Waits.
The Warriors answered when Kelsie Croal assisted the goal of Chandler Arrowood with 9:11 left in the half.
Cline got behind the Warriors' back line on a long pass from Nelson and scored with 4.4 seconds left until halftime for a 4-1 lead.
"Going into halftime down 4-1, I wasn't unoptimistic," Williams said. "I was looking forward to maybe we could get back into this."
The Warriors were able to get back into the game fairly quickly when Stephanie McGough cut the deficit back to two on her goal with 28:28 left in the game, but the Cougars reeled off three straight goals in a span of a little under four minutes from the 17:11 mark to 13:43.
Cline finished with four goals.
"We got it to 4-2 and I thought 'OK we got it, there is plenty of time left,'" Williams said. "But they got the counter goal. It seemed like every time we would score they would score. I just told my team that was the mental. It's a mental thing."
Arrowood scored her second goal with 5:33 left to make it 7-3 but Cline answered quickly with her fourth goal with 4:53 left.
Callie Efird scored the final goal of the game with 45.6 seconds left.
The Warriors will return a large portion of the core that led them back to the fourth round of the state playoffs for the first time since 2010 and won the team's first outright conference championship since 2008.
"They grew together as a team," Williams said. "They were a little disorganized at the start of the season but that always happens when you introduce new kids. Every game throughout the season, especially the conference games, they started gelling. We were a high-scoring team but when you play a game like this, that's where the push comes. It was a successful season. We won the conference, got to the fourth round.
"Next year, we have a great group coming back. I return all starters but two. That's good, you return nine players from a team that got to the fourth round, that's a good recipe for another good season."