The Avery High women's soccer team, and its hopes of reaching the state championship game for the second year in a row, was derailed last night.
Central Academy wiped out an early 2-0 deficit and defeated Avery 3-2 in the semuifinal round of the Class 1A state semifinals. Mary Chestnut Smith, playing in her final game for the Vikings, scored her 100th career goal in the loss. She also added an assist.
"I guess we got to an early lead and starting thinking 'hey, this is going to be easy,'" said Avery coach Tom Evaul. "Getting off to the great start like we did wasn't in our favor. I feel we let up a bit, and they took it away from us."
Avery built its 2-0 lead 15 minutes into the game. Smith and Katelyn Eudy scored for the Vikings (17-5-2), a state finalist last season. Arden Stanley got the assist on Smith's goal that gave the Vikings a 2-0 advantage.
"Mary has been such a wonderful player for our program." Evaul said. "And for her to reach a hundred goals in her career is a deserving honor. She has been a huge part of our program."
Smith, who will attend UNC-Wilmington as a walk-on this fall, will also play in the North Carolina Coaches Associaion East-West Senior All-Star game July 20 at UNC-Greensboro. The West team will be coached by Mike Sloan of Wilkes Central.
Central Academy scored the game-winning goal with less than 18 minutes to go. the Vikings, despite the loss, have produced 37 wins, two sectional titles, a western regional title the last two years. The vikings finished second in the state last spring.
KIDD, SWANSBORO BACK IN EASTERN FINALS
Former Watauga High soccer coach Doug Kidd continues his march towards possibly his third state title in a row.
Kidd, the all-time winningest coach in WHS soccer history with 335 victories with the men's and women's teams combined, has led the Swansboro High women's soccer team to back-to-back state titles. And he has the Pirates just one step away from a date in the state title game next Saturday.
Swansboro (13-6-5) defeated Croatan 3-1 in the Class 2A Eastern Regional Semifinals Friday night. The Pirates travel to Carrboro Wednesday night in the regional championship game. Carrboro defeated Northwood 6-0 on Saturday. The state finals will be played Friday and Saturday at the WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary.
"It's been a tough run this year," Kidd said. "We lost our best player early in the season, but we adjusted and we've put together a good season. We play in a very tough conference (East Central 2A Conference), and we were able to win it."
The Pirates have beaten Forbush in the state finals the last two years. And since his arrival at Swansboro in the fall semester of 2008, Kidd has produced two final four appearances with the men's team; three sectional titles, two regional titles and two state championhips with the women.