SOUTHERN PINES — The Lumberton soccer team positioned itself as the team to beat in the Southeastern Conference with a 2-1 win at Pinecrest on Wednesday.
The win finished a sweep of a team that has a streak of conference championships dating back to 1997.
“To sweep them is a first for us. It’s a first for anyone,” said Lumberton coach Kenny Simmons. “To beat them on their home field, to put us in the drivers seat, that’s special.”
The win started the second half of conference play for the Pirates (9-2, 6-0), who host Hoke and Richmond next week.
Simmons said Thursday’s win had a unique atmosphere as fans packed the stands and, because of a scoreboard problem, the teams relied on referees to keep time.
Lumberton senior Madi Britt had the game’s first goal, running down a pass from Chloe Locklear midway through the first half.
Simmons praised Locklear, a junior midfielder, for keeping the game under control and winning balls at key points.
“She played probably the best game of her career,” Simmons said. “She just controlled the middle of the field. She just won every ball, she started every attack for us… It was so fun to watch.”
Pinecrest tied it up after halftime, but the Pirates went ahead when Kendall Blaine scored following a corner kick by Madison Sirmans with 26 minutes left.
Simmons also was pleased with his defense, which limited Pinecrest to six shots on goal, five stopped by Brittany Bolin. He said in two instances in the first half, Bolin stopped point-blank looks.
Though the first game between the teams got physical to the point that a fight broke out and three girls were ejected, Simmons said there were no further incidents.
“They kept their emotions channelled towards soccer,” he said.
Even after Pinecrest tied up the game early in the half, Simmons said his team didn’t get down.
“We really handled that very maturely,” he said.
ST. PAULS — A late-inning rally gave South View a 10-7 win against St. Pauls on Wednesday.
The Bulldogs took a 5-2 lead in the third inning before South View responded with six runs in the top of the fourth. Though the Bulldogs narrowed the lead to 8-7 in the bottom of the fifth, two runs in the seventh put it away.
Ted McNeill led St. Pauls with two hits.
In other area baseball games, South Columbus beat South Robeson 9-1 and Red Springs beat E.E. Smith 14-2 in five innings. In area softball South Columbus beat South Robeson 14-2 and Red Springs beat E.E. Smith 23-8.