Cape Fear Christian Academy advanced to the championship match in the Mid-Carolina 1-A Conference in varsity girls soccer with a 5-1 victory over visiting Lee Christian on Thursday.
The second-seeded Eagles play at top-seeded Crossroads Christian in the final on Friday at 3:30 p.m.
Seniors Laney Avery and Nina Sauer were honored after the match Thursday.
CFCA coach Michael Breslin recapped the win over the Falcons and shared his thoughts.
“It was a great team effort today,” Breslin said. “We’ve seen constant improvement from the players all season as their skills and confidence have grown. … We controlled the flow from the opening whistle and were able to put into play some of the finer points we’ve been working on. With the defenders, we’ve been working on maintaining composure while under pressure. The back four were very strong today. Madeline Brocious did a great job leading the defense and having them work as a unit rather than four separate players.
“Our offensive players did a wonderful job moving the ball and were creative in their attacks on the Lee Christian defense. Our main defensive midfielders did a great job limiting the opponent’s attacking opportunities and transitioning from our defense to the attack. Laney Avery and Nina Sauer were rock-solid as always in the defensive midfield positions. It’s only fitting that Nina and Laney are highlighted for their play as it was our Senior Day and they’re the only two seniors on the team.
“We started off pretty well and were able to play the match on our terms. In the 21st minute, Lexie Crumley passed a ball to Gwynn Young whose shot curled away from the Lee Christian keeper into the net. While we had more opportunities, we did not convert any more in the first half and went into halftime up 1-0.
“During halftime, we talked to the players about making small adjustments and not losing focus. I was pleased with how we played the first half and there wasn’t too much that needed to be fixed.
“Five minutes into the second half, Ella John Dupree intercepted an errant pass and scored an unassisted goal. Ten minutes after that, Lexie Crumley collected a short Lee Christian goal kick and put it into the net, giving us a 3-0 lead. Since it was Senior Day, we moved our seniors from their usual defensive midfield positions into more attack-oriented spots so they could try to score.
“Laney Avery had a few close calls but fell just short each time. Nina Sauer collected an Ella John Dupree corner kick and scored her first varsity goal. Ella John Dupree scored an unassisted goal from a very nice shot in the 70th minute, putting us up 5-0. Grace Viox had a very solid game in goal and just missed having a clean sheet (no goals allowed) by three minutes when Lee Christian scored a late goal. Overall, the team played great and I’m looking forward to the conference championship match.”