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East Bladen Soccer Travels to No. 1 Ledford

Something will have to give Wednesday night when East Bladen’s Eagles, the No. 9 seed in the East, travels to top-seeded Thomasville Ledford for a 3rd round NCHSAA Class 2A boys’ soccer playoff game.

Coach Jay Raynor’s Eagles and Coach John Blake’s Panthers have combined winning streaks of 39 games. East Bladen has won 17 straight games after going 0-3-1 in their first 4 games. Three of those early Eagle opponents – Wallace-Rose Hill, Dixon and West Iredell – are still alive in the 3rd round of the playoffs. James Kenan was eliminated in the second round.

Ledford Senior has won 22 consecutive games after tying Newton Foard and losing to Forest Hills in their first 2 games. Forest Hills is still alive in the 3rd round, and Foard was just eliminated in the 2nd round.

The Eagles who won the Three Rivers Conference championship with a 14-0 league record are led by senior Gabe Barber with 23 goals and 22 assists. Junior Garrett Melvin has fired in 16 goals, and senior Jake Evans has tallied 9 goals and dished out 22 assists.

Freshman Malcolm Bolden and senior Jon Von Rupp have added 9 goals each. Junior Jacob Priest has recorded 14 shutouts in goal with 41 saves and has posted a 17-3-1 record.

The Panthers captured the Central Carolina Conference championship with a perfect 18-0 league record and are led by a quartet of seniors. Daniel Anani has recorded team-highs of 30 goals and 14 assists. Jeffrey Romero has totaled 23 goals and 16 assists. Jaden McCannon follows with 13 goals and 12 assists, and Walter Schneider has posted a 20-1-1 record in goal with 112 saves and 8 shutouts.

The Eagles blanked Elizabeth City Northeastern 3-0 in their first round game then defeated North Johnston 5-2 in the second round. Ledford walloped North Pitt 9-0 in the opening round then edged Croatan 2-1 in the second round.

“We are looking forward to the challenge and a trip to Ledford,” said Coach Raynor. Game time Wednesday is 6 p.m.

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