By Josh Holland
For the Forsyth County News
Pinecrest Academy senior Brendan Kane stood over the free kick from right inside half field with the hopes of sending in a cross that another Pinecrest player could get a head to and find the back of the net.
Instead, his cross made its way through traffic and past the keeper, untouched for the opening goal Friday’s game.
The Paladins tacked on three more, as Pinecrest opened area play with a 4-0 win against Providence Christian.
Pinecrest controlled the game from the start, but
Providence’s occasional attacks appeared threatening at times. After the
opening free-kick goal from midfield, the Paladins doubled their lead through
another crazy series of events.
Attacker Arturo Munguia was in a race with the Providence keeper who had come off his line. The keeper won, but failed to maintain possession of the ball. Munguia came back and picked up the loose ball, easily slotting it into an empty net.
Pinecrest took its 2-0 lead into halftime thanks to a diving save from Pinecrest keeper Evan Kane with nine minutes left to keep Providence scoreless.
Providence opened the second half with a free kick that provided a great opportunity for them to get back in the game, but the direct free kick was easily blocked by the wall. Two minutes later, the Paladins had a free kick of their own, and after the initial shot was blocked by the wall, the ball found its way to the feet of sophomore Colin Brown, who fired it into the top of the net to make the lead 3-0.
Pinecrest scored one more goal in the form of a penalty kick taken by senior Jake Lair, who fired it straight up the middle as the keeper dove to his left.
The 4-0 win gives the Paladins some momentum ahead of their toughest challenge of the season next Tuesday in Hebron Christian Academy.
“Now we’re on the front foot moving forward,” head coach Domenic Martelli said after the game. “We imposed our system of play. We imposed our defensive scheme, and they had to battle, and I don’t think they were ready for that.”