ELLERBE – The Ellerbe Middle School girls ‘and boys’ soccer teams cemented their playoff spots with multiple wins earlier this week.
Lady Wildcats secure No. 2 playoff berth
Head coach Derek Anderson and the Ellerbe girls’ soccer team continued its impressive season by collecting two more multi-goal wins on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Playing at home both games, the Lady Wildcats opened the week with a 3-1 win over Sandy Grove Middle School, which trailed Ellerbe by one game in the conference standings.
The pivotal win, which helped distance the Lady Wildcats, saw two goals from Mariana Gonzalez Aguilar. Also finding the back of the net one time was Yulissa Avalos, coming on a penalty kick later in the match.
On Wednesday, the Ellerbe girls cruised past East Hoke Middle School 7-2. Scoring her fourth hat trick in five games was Aguilar, who led all scorers.
Kaylee Quick contributed two goals in the win, and Parker Rhyne and Lucero Morales each knocked in a goal.
With a final regular-season record of 8-1, the Lady Wildcats will be the No. 2 seed heading into the playoffs. Their only loss came to No. 1 Rockingham, and Hamlet Middle School will be the No. 3 seed, according to Anderson.
Ellerbe boys collect two comeback wins, make playoffs
Playing Sandy Grove and East Hoke on the same days at the girls’ team, the Wildcats also notched two more wins to close out the season.
Tuesday’s game was cut short due to weather, as Ellerbe earned a 3-2 win over the Panthers. The entire first half was played before the game was called early in the second half.
Sandy Grove took an early 1-0 lead, but 10 minutes later Ellerbe tied the game when Adrian Zamora scored on a cross. Again, the Panthers took a one-goal lead following Zamora’s tally.
Ellerbe kept pushing and Izzy Jimenez was rewarded with a goal after sending a shot with his right foot into the goal from inside the box to make it 2-2.
With five minutes left in the first half, Jimenez got through the ball and scored the game-winning goal.
Wednesday’s match against the Eagles was also a one-goal winner for the Wildcats, resulting in a 2-1 victory.
An early battle by both teams resulted in a penalty kick for East Hoke, which took a 1-0 lead. That score would hold until halftime.
The equalizing goal for the Wildcats came 20 minutes into the second half when Edin Carrillo was fouled inside the box. Teammate Elin Focseca was assigned to take the PK, and blasted it into the net with 10 minutes remaining.
With five minutes left in the game, Ellerbe was awarded a free kick, which Carrillo took. Before he kicked it, Fonseca faked a kick to offset the defense and Carrillo lasered a shot into the upper left corner for the game-winner.
The Wildcats finished the regular season with a 6-3 record.
The playoff brackets for both girls ‘and boys’ soccer have yet to be finalized, as teams are still playing regular-season games this week.
Note: Coaches Derek Anderson and Grover McDonald submitted scores and details for this article. No other stats or information were reported by the time of publication.