Prep Soccer: Greyhounds blank Mountaineers in playoff opener

Posted at 7:41 PM on Nov 1, 2017

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FROM STAFF REPORTS

Toni Pineda scored four goals and Sam Johnson had three assists on Wednesday night as the Statesville High boys soccer team defeated visiting Kings Mountain 4-0 in the first round of the NCHSAA Class 3A playoffs.

"I thought it was a great start altogether," Greyhounds coach Eric Hanson said. "We came out hungry and determined to be the better team. The guys worked hard on the field and you could tell they did not want this to be the last game of the season."

Pineda, who became the school's all-time leading scorer in the regular-season finale, picked up where he left off in the postseason, scoring in the game's fifth, ninth and 31st minutes as the Greyhounds dominated possession from the opening whistle and took a 3-0 lead into intermission. His final goal of the night, in the 52nd minute, was his 62nd of the season.

Johnson was the offensive catalyst for Statesville throughout, raising his season assist total to 39.

Mountaineers keeper John Harris was under pressure all night and recorded 11 saves in his final game for Kings Mountain, which ended the season 15-6-2.

Meanwhile, the Greyhounds won the majority of the 50/50 balls in the midfield and the defense, anchored by Ross Garrison, cleaned up everything in the final third.

Statesville keeper Josh Fuhrman recorded five saves as the Greyhounds notched their 10th shutout of the season.

Statesville (19-3-2), the No. 3 seed in the West Region, will host No. 14 North Gaston (16-5-1) in the second round at 6:30 p.m. Saturday. The Wildcats knocked off No. 19 Enka 2-1 on Wednesday.

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