LUMBERTON — Home field certainly was an advantage for the Lumberton boys soccer team this season as it closed its regular season a perfect 11-0 season with a 1-0 win over Purnell Swett on Wednesday.
The mark, what coach Kenny Simmons believes, has not been accomplished before and ends as the Pirates (15-5, 10-4 SAC) peaking heading into postseason play.
“We’ve never gone undefeated at home. We really like playing here on our field,” he said. “We haven’t quite figured it out on the road, but it was good to finish out the season on a positive note.”
The game-deciding goal came in the 10th minute when Rene Altamirano broke through the Purnell Swett (4-13-2, 1-13 SAC) defense to beat goalkeeper Nick Ramirez for the match’s only scoring.
“They gave Lumberton a contest and I’m very proud of them and how they worked together, stayed together and made it a game,” Purnell Swett coach Alaric Strickland said. “Rene made a beautiful move to get his goal and that was the difference. When you have a good player like that, that’s all it will take.”
Lumberton finished third in the conference and Simmons said the last four wins show signs of an upward trend for the team.
“I think they are playing really well,” Simmons said. “We wrapped up five conference wins in a row with Pinecrest and Richmond last week.”
After the lone Lumberton goal, Ramirez and the Purnell Swett defense held the Pirates in check and stopping the few scoring chances that came its way.
“Nick gets more solid each and every time he steps out here,” Strickland said. “He’s stepping up and he’s growing as a keeper to manage his defense as the season goes along.”
Purnell Swett travels to Pinecrest in the first round, Lumberton hosts Scotland.
UNCP soccer takes 1-0 decision over Lander
PEMBROKE — Redshirt sophomore Kristina Stevenson’s 50th-minute goal from 25 yards out held up for the remainder of the match and the UNC Pembroke soccer team ran its unbeaten streak to eight with a 1-0 win against visiting Lander in Peach Belt Conference action Wednesday evening in Pembroke.
At 49:04 of the second half, the Braves turned a free kick into a goal when Christine Rolfes’ sent a ball in from midfield that was knocked down by Scott in perfect position for Stevenson to bury the game winner in the upper-right corner of the net.
Gina Ryan notched her PBC-leading seventh shutout of the season by going a perfect 3-for-3 in saves.
The Braves hit the road for the first time since Oct. 4 for a Saturday matchup with North Georgia. First touch is set for 3 p.m. at the UNG Soccer Complex in Dahlonega.
The Braves’ best opportunity of the first half was a Jasmine Senecal-Guzman header off a corner that the senior sent inches over the crossbar in the 31st-minute.
Jonathan Bym can be reached at 910-816-1977. Follow him on Twitter @Jonathan_Bym.