- Special Sections
- Public Notices
SHALLOTTE—Just four games into her first year as the West Brunswick girls’ soccer coach, Laura Libero saw a seven-year jinx come to an end Monday as the Lady Trojans finally won a Mideastern 3A/4A Conference game.
It took a heady play by seniors Mary Dorn and Jordan “Jo Jo” Clear to get the second and winning goal in the 61st minute of the league clash with Ashley at M.H.Rourk Stadium. The final score: West Brunswick 2, Ashley 1.
I headed the ball and she scored,” Dorn said of her assist on the winning goal. The header was taken in stride Clear, streaking down the right side, collided with the Lady Screaming Eagles' goaltender as the ball trickled into the net.
West led at 1-0 at the half, marking the first time this season they had led at the intermission. It came on a goal by Mariah Evans off an assist by Clear at the 9-minute mark.
Ashley tied the game in the 52nd minute on a goal by Carley Strauss off an assist by Lauren Sawyer.
And for the first time since joining the 3A/4A league seven years ago the Lady Trojans (1-2-1 overall and 1-2 in the league) are out of the cellar, ceding that spot to Ashley (0-3-1 overall and 0-3 in conference play this season).
Last year the Lady Trojans ended the six-year long losing streak with a 1-1 tie in overtime against Ashley. Libero was on the sidelines for that one as a co-coach with Tripp Smith.
But following that, they lost eight in a row to league foes and opened this season with conference losses to Hoggard and White Oak. One of those losses was a 12-0 playoff defeat to White Oak, which went on to win the Class 3A state title.
“We were playing a lot more offensive in the first half,” Libero said. “We were trying to start playing up. If we can get up we’re pretty good at keeping it strong on the defense.
“That’s what we tried to do in the second half. Our goal was to keep it strong in the back and to score another goal, and they did.
“It’s not hard to be a coach when they do what you tell them to do. I’m ecstatic and the girls are too. They know we’ve won one and we can win a bunch more.”
Sophomore goalkeeper Ariel Gravino made six saves with four coming in the first half.
West Brunswick applied a lot of pressure in the first half with Evans and Clear each having breakaway chances go awry.
The Lady Trojans were scheduled to host Laney in another league game Wednesday before traveling to Whiteville for a non-conference game Thursday and visiting seventh-ranked Jacksonville next Monday and New Hanover on March 19.