Saturday was a historic day of sorts for Carroll County’s girls’ soccer program as the Lady Cavaliers defeated William Fleming 10-0 in a Conference 24 Quarterfinal in Hillsville.
Not only was it the first Conference 24 playoff victory for Carroll in the three-year history of the Conference, it was the program’s first home playoff win since 2003 and the first double-digit scoring game for the Cavs in at least 10 years.
“I think we made a statement. I am so proud of how hard the girls have worked,” Carroll County girls’ coach Wayne Edmonds said. “We almost doubled our goal output for the year in one game. We scored 13 goals in the year before the game and then put 10 on the board today. It was probably one of the best passing games I have seen – very unselfish play from everybody.”
Seven different girls scored goals for Carroll County (5-11), which took a 3-0 lead into intermission before blowing the game open in the second half. Although both teams went scoreless for the first 20 minutes, the Cavaliers stayed on the attack all day. Adrienne Harris opened the scoring, taking a nice pass from Emily Bryant and beating a couple of defenders before getting a breakaway in front of the goal.
Carroll struck again about four minutes later when Nicole Hiatt got a rebound off of what appeared to be a handball by William Fleming. The whistle never blew, however, and Hiatt scored off a nice kick from the corner.
“It was going to be called a handball and the flag went up. Fleming stopped playing and our girls kept playing because they never heard a whistle,” Edmonds said. “It was a really nice shot and a really nice play to keep going since there was never a whistle.”
The scoring barrage continued less than a minute later when Maddie Childress scored on a corner kick to make it 3-0 with 16 minutes left in the opening half. The score stayed that way until after intermission, but Gracie Puckett soon got the Cavaliers cranking again. Fouled in the box, Puckett scored on a penalty kick – something Edmonds said the team had been practicing just the day before.
Harris, who finished with two goals and two assists, added her second goal of the game to put Carroll in front 5-0. Senior Carlie McMillian made it 6-0, scoring her second goal in the past two games, on an assist from Harris. Maddie Childress scored for a second time off a corner kick and Gracie Puckett scored her second goal of the day to make it 8-0. Emily Bryant and Madison Puckett closed out the scoring, completing the 10-0 win.
Harris, Childress and Gracie Puckett all scored two goals for the Cavaliers. Meanwhile, Haley Hurst made a pair of saves en route to her second shutout in goal for Carroll this year.
“Near the end of the game we were passing so well. I think we finally understood if they kept their space and kept passing, good things would happen,” Edmonds said. “And Haley, even though she only had to make a couple of saves, played well and came out of the box when she needed to do. She became a field player too, which we have been asking her to do all season.”
With the win, Carroll was scheduled to advance to a Conference 24 Semifinal on May 23 at William Byrd.
Allen Worrell can be reached at (276) 779-4062 or on Twitter@AWorrellTCN