Repeat on Lady Chargers’ minds

Defending champ WCA dominates Hilltop Christian

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The Wilson Christian Academy girls soccer team, the reigning North Carolina Christian School Association 2-A champion, demonstrated that it, at least, intends to assert its superiority in the 2-A East Region this season on a cool Monday evening on the Wilson Christian pitch.

With senior Anna Grace Abrams either notching the goal or the assist on the first seven scores, the Lady Chargers kicked off their region schedule by walking off with a 9-0 triumph against a Hilltop Christian team of Fuquay-Varina that was opening its season.

Abrams, who will continue her career at Liberty University, amassed four goals and three assists as the Lady Chargers climbed to 2-0 overall going into Saturday’s test against 2-A Bunn High of the North Carolina High School Athletic Association in The Brittany XIV.

“I hope they are the team to beat (in the region),” expressed Hilltop head coach Sergio Colop. “I hope we don’t play anybody better than them.

“This is my first time coaching and they’re a good team. They have good fundamentals, know what they’re doing and know their purpose. It seems like they have been playing together a bit — and that’s always the biggest plus.”

Colop, somewhat disappointed his team opened the season against WCA, explained he’s not only attempting to build a program but change the culture at a school where basketball is the most popular girls sport.
“Soccer players don’t put on their cleats until soccer starts,” he said.

Abrams, who has been wearing cleats for years, knocked in goals in the third, 20th, 26th and 30th minutes. She turned to getting her teammates more involved in the second half and assisted goals by senior Jenna Hunter in the 42nd and 51st minutes and, on a splendidly executed play, slipped a pass that sophomore Kristen Reece one-touched into the goal for a 7-0 cushion.

Moments later, freshman Lindsey Hunter netted the eighth goal off freshman Kendall Harris’ corner kick. The Lady Chargers walked off via the mercy rule on junior Jenna Varnell’s goal with 17 minutes, 5 seconds still remaining.

“We are showing good things,” assessed WCA head coach Don Samson. “As the game progressed, we connected better and showed more aggression. But to be where we want to be, we’ve definitely got to improve in that area.”

Aided by the back line of junior Caitlin Barnes, Varnell and junior Brenda Reece, one of four sisters on the team, goalkeepers Katelyn Parker (one save) and Skylar Pone (two saves) combined for the shutout.

Abrams emphasized she prefers assists over goals and noted: “That was what coach wanted me to do in the second half. That’s my personality, definitely. That’s what I do. But we couldn’t score and I had to get that first one and get everybody going.”

Her season goals include eclipsing last season’s marks of 28 goals and 36 assists. Thus far, she owns six goals and three assists.

Pone, freshman Dani Reece and junior Ashley Hardy assisted Abrams’ first three goals.

“I feel really good (about the 2018 team),” Abrams declared. “I think we will be really strong going into the playoffs. (Injured freshman forward) Lea Gossett will be coming back soon and I’m excited.”

Junior Madison Manrequez led the Hilltop offensive effort. The Fuquay-Varina team’s best opportunity surfaced with approximately 21 minutes showing on a scrum in front the WCA goal but, at the last instant, WCA’s Hardy cleared the ball.

“After they got a couple of goals in the second half, we deflated,” Colop admitted. “That’s an issue all the time. We got a view of reality today.”