Thursday, September 15, 2011

Lake Norman shuts down Mallard Creek in Sweet 16 battle

Lake Norman High made a convincing case as the class of I-Meck 4A soccer Wednesday.

Six Wildcats scored a goal each in a 6-0 win against No. 12 Mallard Creek on the Mavericks' home field. Lake Norman (6-1-3, 2-0), ranked seventh in the Sweet 16, scored four goals in the first half and were never seriously threatened in a battle of conference unbeatens.

"It was by far our best effort of the year," Wildcats coach Jon Mertens said. "That's the best we've played as a unit, as a team. I'm really pleased with how we performed tonight."

Lake Norman opened the floodgates early, sprinting to a 4-0 advantage at the break by attacking gaps in the Mavericks' defense. The Wildcats jumped in front on Justin Bruno's blast off Ian Orr's feed, followed by Gabe Franco's left-footed tally off Austin Stevens' pass in the 12th to put Mallard Creek in a deep hole. The Wildcats added to the gap on Tyler Buckingham's goal on Joey Carman's assist in the 36th minute and Franco notched an assist when his pass to Ben Steen on a long run was converted into a goal.

"We were doing everything right," Mertens said. "We didn't have any gaps that were in the middle of the field that would create transitional plays for us. I thought we moved (well) as a unit up and down the field, and then when you get into the attacking third, it makes it a whole lot easier."

Lake Norman maintained its attack in the second half, swarming to the Mallard Creek goal to build scoring opportunities. The Wildcats added Jordan Chillson's penalty kick goal in the 43rd minute for a 5-0 lead. Orr closed the scoring with a masterful dribble to the goal off passes by Justin Woodard and Joey Carman.


Anonymous said...

This was the Dane Perry bowl!