LAURINBURG — Pinecrest was expertly efficient on Monday night as they cruised to a 7-0 victory over Scotland.
The Patriots wasted little time rebounding from Friday’s loss to Lumberton, as Hannah Sullivan made it 1-0 just under one minute into the game.
From there, Pinecrest was Pinecrest. The team upheld its reputation as a soccer powerhouse as the goals continued to pour in. It was 3-0 at halftime after McKenzie Wagler and Michala Kitchen scored before the break. The Patriots were constantly moving and were able to keep the ball for long stretches of time, forcing the Scots to play the majority of the game on defense.
The lopsided possession led to more chances for the visitors, and they took advantage of them. Natalie Hipp added a fourth goal for Pinecrest nine minutes into the half, and then Sofie Flores scored one of the best goals of the night. Her teammate Sydnie Kavanaugh passed the ball diagonally across the field, cutting through Scotland’s defense to set Flores up in a one-0n-one situation with goalkeeper Anna Griswold. Griswold came out to try to cut off Flores’ options, but the forward shifted the ball to her right foot and slid it past and into the net.
Olivia McKinney scored another highlight-reel goal with 61 seconds to play to make it 7-0. Another Patriot found McKinney open in the box and crossed the ball into her from the right side. McKinney volleyed it out of the air, sending it right underneath the crossbar for yet another goal.
Despite playing in their own half for most of the game, the Scotland team never stopped pushing for a score of its own. The Scots, which were coming into the game after a 6-1 win at Purnell Swett on Friday, continued to make runs forward and try to keep possession. Unfortunately for coach Danny Gallagher, the Patriots were able to stifle those attacks.
“The girls in the back all fought all the way through the end. When you get in one of those games where you’re losing it’s tough to play defense for 80 minutes … when you get outshot that much some of those shots have to go in,” Gallagher said.
Gallagher said he approached the game the same as any other, and that it was important for preparation to stay the same no matter the opponent.
The Scots (2-5) have a busy week, as they host Hoke County tomorrow before traveling to Lumberton on Friday.