NCHSAA Soccer Playoffs
Pine Lake Prep 9
Blue Ridge Early College 0
Lake Norman Charter 4
West Iredell 0
North Gaston 0
Marvin Ridge 5
South Iredell 0
(Reagan wins 4-3 on PKs)
Northwest Guilford 4
Lake Norman 0
Prep Soccer: Greyhounds shred Wildcats, advance to Sweet 16
FROM STAFF REPORTS
The Statesville High boys soccer team advanced to the Sweet 16 of the NCHSAA Class 3A soccer playoffs on Saturday night with a 6-0 thrashing of visiting North Gaston.
Seniors Toni Pineda and Sam Johnson led the Greyhounds' offensive attack as Statesville improved to 20-3-2 on the season.
Johnson gave the Greyhounds the lead when he dribbled through three Wildcats' defenders and blasted a shot past keeper Carter Rushing into the side netting in the game's 12th minute. The SHS midfielder also added two assists to raise his season total to 41.
Pineda scored four more goals, including a penalty kick that gave Statesville a 4-0 lead with 10 minutes to play in the first half. The PK was awarded after Rushing wiped Pineda out on a breakaway inside the box.
Pineda, the Greyhounds' all-time leading scorer, now has 66 goals on the season.
Sophomore Garrett Potemry scored with less than a minute to play in the first half off an assist from Milton Mungia to give Statesville a 5-0 lead. Junior Dawson Sprinkle also added an assist.
"The muddy field did not affect us too much and we were still able to move the ball on the ground," Greyhounds coach Eric Hanson said. 'I am very pleased with the way our team is playing."
The win was Statesville's eighth straight victory since a 3-3 draw against Class 2A powerhouse Newton-Conover on Oct. 5. The Greyhounds have outscored their opponents 49-2 during the winning streak.
Saturday's win marked the defense's 11th shutout of the season. Keeper Josh Fuhrman recorded nine saves, including a parry over the crossbar in the first half off a Wildcats' free kick and a stop on a North Gaston penalty kick in the game's 64th minute.
"They had a solid defense and keeper, but I do not think they have faced an offense of our caliber," Hanson said. "Any chance they had at netting a goal was spoiled by Josh. He played a great game and stepped up every time his team needed him."
North Gaston finished the season 16-6-1.
Statesville, the No. 3 seed in the West Region, will host the winner of the No. 6 Hickory-No. 11 Parkland match in the third round of the playoffs on Wednesday evening.