Evangelical Christian School continues surge, powers way into state

Evangelical Christian School continues surge, powers way into state

News

Evangelical Christian School continues surge, powers way into state

By

Haley Pigott, mired in a two-goal slump, wanted not just to break out of that scoreless streak but to take her team to the state semifinals.
Pigott, a junior forward on the Evangelical Christian School girls soccer team, accomplished both goals. She scored three goals and assisted freshman teammate Kylee Rullo on another as the Sentinels defeated the Melbourne Central Catholic Hustlers 4-0 for the Region A-3 championship Tuesday night at Sentinels Stadium.
ECS will play at 7 p.m. Friday at Marathon in the Class A state semifinals. Marathon defeated South Florida Heat 4-1 on Tuesday for the Region A-4 championship.
Central Catholic had won the same matchup on the same stage of the state playoffs against ECS last season 6-3, a fact that ECS sophomore goalkeeper Maria Nelson remembered.
“This was our goal, to get here and win, and to get past this,” said Nelson, who had 14 saves, including one in which she dove on the ball midway through the second half. “We were really nervous in the first half. We didn’t know what it was going to be like.”
The Sentinels improved to 25-1, while the Hustlers finished their season with a 7-9-4 record.
“I thought we came out great,” ECS coach Steve Magner said. “It’s the regional finals. Both teams came out wanting to win.”
Magner noted that Pigott, who has scored a school-record 73 goals this season, had been in what for her could be considered a scoring drought.
“She’s been shut out the past couple of games, so for her to have a game like that is a good confidence booster,” Magner said.
Rullo nearly scored the game’s second goal, but the ball bounced off Central Catholic’s goalkeeper, only to be kicked in by Pigott.
So when Pigott fired a perfect pass to Rullo in the second half, Rullo happily headed the ball into the net for her 28th goal of the season.
Eight-grader Savannah Blevins also had an assist, on Pigott’s first goal.
Although ECS has been to the state playoffs in eight of the past nine seasons, this marks the program’s lengthiest state playoff run.
“I’ve never won regionals before,” Pigott said. “I’m just so happy.”
Connect with this reporter: David Dorsey (Facebook), @DavidADorsey (Twitter).

Latest

More USA TODAY High School Sports
Home
https://usatodayhss.com/2013/evangelical-christian-school-continues-surge-powers-way-into-state
Evangelical Christian School continues surge, powers way into state
I found this story on USA TODAY High School Sports and wanted to share it with you: %link% For more high school stories, stats and videos, visit http://usatodayhss.com.