KILL DEVIL HILLS — Corinth Holders’ last lesson of another solid season also served as the first for the 2014 campaign. The Pirates took a 7-3 loss to First Flight Saturday in the second round of the 2A playoffs, bowing out in a fashion comparable to their ending in 2012.
It was the second consecutive season Corinth Holders found itself on the road in the second round – making a long trip. Last year it was to Reidsville; this time it was to the Outer Banks.
“We really wanted to get through this second round for the first time,” said Corinth Holders coach Alison Vetterl. “We played well in spurts and everybody played hard. But these road trips are tough. That’s why it is important to win your conference if you want to have success in the playoffs.
“When you get that home atmosphere with students, faculty, more parents and fans there, it does nothing but help you. We brought a good crowd here but it’s not home.”
The Pirates fought hard and played their kind of soccer but couldn’t match up with the speed or finishing ability of Nighthawk sophomore forward Jessica Wallace who scored five goals on the day, three of the basic breakaway variety.
After Wallace’s first goal, the Pirates pulled even on a set piece with Felice Hewitt heading home a perfectly-served ball on a free kick by Amanda Eckard. And Corinth Holders did control the majority of play, it just couldn’t handle Wallace’s quick speed bursts and finishing ability.
“We had a good scouting report coming in and did a good job at times,” Vetterl said. “We just weren’t as consistent in the second half. We battled and kept playing hard, but it’s tough to take another loss like this.”
The Nighthawks went up 3-1 late in the first half before a Bella Iorio penalty kick with 86 seconds to play in the half to give the Pirates some hope.
But First Flight scored the match’s next four goals to wrap up a trip to the third round.
Corinth Holders rounded out the scoring with Stacey Walton scoring on a Brandi Tyler assist in the 70th minute.
The Pirates graduate four seniors, the first time they’ll lose players. Hester, Brooke Tyler, Brandi Tyler and Brittani Tyler.
“It’s tough to say goodbye to players,” Vetterl said. “They’ll be missed but we’ll have new challenges to deal with next year: a new conference, new teams and in 3A.”
Best: 919-524-8895; @dclaybest