What an icebreaker.

On the coldest playing date of the season Pine Lake Prep’s boys soccer squad landed what wound up being the lone successful strike in the early phase of overtime play to nip the heels of Lincoln Charter, 1-0. The win came in the second-round contest in the N.C. High School Athletic Association’s 1A class playoffs and was conducted during midday.

The Pride improved to the 17-4-1 mark for the season overall while more importantly scoring the right to move on into this week’s third-round play in the single-elimination segment of second-season action.

Pine Lake, the regular-season champion of its PAC-7 Conference that was rewarded with that opening-round bye, shrugged off the rust from being absent from the field for more than a week to keep its quest for this fall season’s NCHSAA 1A class championship crown in place.

It took more time than the Pride wanted, however, for that to be the case.

The Pride, seeded No. 4 within their West Region ranks, leg-locked their way into a scoreless tie with No. 13-seed Lincoln Charter through the course of 80 full minutes of regulation play to force overtime action.

Pine Lake wasted little time taking its first and only lead when the Pride’s Griffin Nixdorf collected a rebound and knocked in a shot past the LC Eagles’ keeper to land a goal coming during the opening three minutes of the first of the two timed 10-minute period for a high school soccer overtime.

From that point, the Pride continued to stand its ground on the defensive front to prevent Lincoln Charter from mounting a countering strike.

For the match, PLP keeper Patrick Hannagan blunted each one of the invading entry’s shot attempts to chime in with the postseason shutout that accounted for 13th win by whitewash for the season but also stretch their current such streak to eight straight showings.

There was even more celebrate. The narrow escape allowed Pine Lake to make amends for a regular season, 1-0 loss suffered at the feet of Denver-based Lincoln Charter and made the verdict in the rematch that much sweeter.

Buoyed by the effort, Pine Lake also did its part to provide proof of the PAC-7 Conference presence as a regional-wide soccer power. The presence of the Pride into this week’s third-round play equivalent to the Elite Eight within the NCHSAA’s West Region and Sweet 16 across the state gives the league a total of four teams earning the right to reach so deep into the second-season schedule.

A bid on the part of PLP to continue that trend takes place as early as tonight. The Pride is scheduled to stay put on its home grey-colored artificial turf field to faced No. 5 seed Christ the King in third-round play to secure a berth in later this week’s fourth round equivalent to the regional semifinals.

A win by Pine Lake in tonight’s round-three outing will advance it into the weekend’s fourth round to meet either No. 17 seed and fellow Langtree Charter Academy or No. 8 seed Community School of Davidson. Both Langtree and CSD are also fellow members of the PAC-7 crowd.

Play in the NCHSAA boys soccer playoffs will continue through the crowning of champions in each of the four classifications slated to be held Nov. 23.{/div}

Get today’s top stories right in your inbox. Sign up for our daily newsletter.

Recommended for you