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Girls Soccer: Midway 2, East Bladen 1

DUNN – Midway scored with less than 7 minutes left to play to edge East Bladen 2-1 Thursday night in Four County Conference girls soccer action.

The Lady Raiders took a 1-0 lead in the first half on a corner kick. “The first goal was just us not marking well on a corner kick,” said East Bladen Coach Jay Raynor. “Marking was our focus at halftime, and I thought we did a better job in the second half.”

“The first half was back and forth, and I thought we battled and had some chances early,” continued Coach Raynor. “They were giving us a lot of space in midfield but weren’t giving us space to run behind them.”

East Bladen tied the game in the second half when senior Justyna Gargala was fouled inside the 18 yardline, and sophmore Ashley Hardin fired in the penalty kick.

“Justyna did a good job drawing the foul,” added Raynor. “Ashley did a phenomenal job tonight. We were short-handed and you could tell she wasn’t going to let that be a factor. She was all over the place and left it all on the field.”

Raynor noted that “We had some good looks and couldn’t put one in. Being without a few girls caused us to play some girls out of position and in new positions. They stepped up big.”

“Sarah (Johnson) did a great job in the back and Trinity (Carroll) did a fine job in midfield where she hasn’t played since last year,” said Raynor. “Also proud of Maddie West. She has been put into a different role, has accepted the challenge and really worked hard.”

“Cybil (Campbell) had a big night and made some big plays,” said Raynor. “This was her first full match and she looked very comfortable. She made a lot of plays and won us some 50/50 balls. Cassie (Hill) made big contributions tonight. She never seems to stop and made play after play for us in the midfield.”

Goalkeeper Ting Lin was credited with 5 saves. “Ting is doing especially well coming off her line to make plays and did a much better job communicating with her backline,” said Coach Raynor.

The winning goal was set up by a cross that “went backside and pulled out our defender. It wasn’t the best angle to make a play, and their forward just went on by,” said Raynor. “Ting did all she could. We were gassed and got caught ball-watching.”

“It was a good match that went back and forth,” concluded Raynor. “They are a solid team and capitalized on our mistakes.”

East Bladen, now 4-3 in league play and 8-3 overall, will travel to Clinton Tuesday for a 6 p.m. game.

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