Tuscola pays back HickoryMountaineers advance to second round after win over Red Tornados
The Tuscola varsity girls soccer team paid a long overdue debt to visiting Hickory by beating the Red Tornados, 2-1, in a NCHSAA Class 3-A West first round playoff match at C.E. Weatherby Stadium Wednesday night.
Hickory eliminated the Mountaineers, which improved to 16-5-0 overall, in the 2012 Class 3-A West playoffs. Hickory ended its season with a 15-2-0 record.
“It’s a big win,” said Tuscola Head Coach Erik Melville. “Hickory knocked us out of the playoffs last year in a tough match and we knew it was going to take everything we had. We scored two early goals and were able to lock down defensively in the second half to secure the win.”
Tuscola struck first with barely six minutes gone in the first half when Kelly Perkins sent a shot past the Red Tornado goalkeeper from 20 yards out. Then Foster Kirkpatrick took a pass from Shelby Tricoli at the 33:46 mark to give the Mountaineers a fairly comfortable two goal lead.
But that comfort lasted exactly 20 seconds as Hickory senior forward Sarah Henson sent a shot past Tuscola goalkeeper Abby Coulter to tighten the contest, 2-1.
From that point, Tuscola’s defense took over and did not allow a serious shot at its goal to advance to play at Lawndale Burns High School (19-2-0) on Saturday, May 11, in a second round match of the NCHSAA Class 3-A West playoffs. The Bulldogs beat Kings Mountain in their first round match.
Despite the loss, Hickory out shot Tuscola, 7-6.