TARBORO – A two-win team four years ago, Tarboro couldn’t frown upon a season that ended in the Round of 32.
Seventh-seeded Camden County scored four times in the first 10 minutes and ran away with a 7-1 victory against No. 2 seed Tarboro in the NCHSAA 1-A second round Friday at Indian Lake Sports Complex, cutting short the best season in Tarboro girls’ soccer history.
“These girls were in uncharted territory,” Tarboro coach Leshaun Jenkins said. “I feel bad from that perspective, but overall, I don’t thing we have anything to hang our heads over.”
Fresh off its first playoffs victory in school history Wednesday, Tarboro (7-4-1) actually had the better chances in the game’s opening moments. Two Rivers Conference Player of the Year Shayla Thorne made two dangerous runs in the opening three minutes, though Camden County (11-3-2) stifled both without a shot attempt.
“I got kind of nervous. I was like, ‘They’re coming, they’re coming,’” Thorne said. “I tried my best to get it. They just came up on me.”
The game quickly went haywire for Tarboro.
Camden’s Lydia Shiel broke through the Vikings’ defense and scored in the fourth minute, then lobbed a shot from 20 yards away that found its way in the net later in the same minute.
A defensive miscommunication put Camden in on net for a goal in the ninth minute, and Shield scored the next minute off a giveaway.
“We weren’t expecting it to open up like it did, but with a good-coached and good-skilled team like that, grabbing those early goals was huge for us,” Bruins coach Chuck Leslie said.
A quick Bruins goal in the 43rd minute all but sealed the game at 5-0. Camden County was able to control the game through its central midfield. Caroline Robinson in particular was a nuisance all evening for Tarboro, stifling build-up and catching the Vikings’ back line exposed more than a few times.
Robinson’s 72nd minute goal made the score 7-0.
The N.C. Wesleyan-bound Thorne was able to spoil the shutout with a 73rd minute goal off a through ball from Katie King, extending her school record to 89 goals in a career.
Though the season ended with a six-goal home loss, and the Vikings will say goodbye to five seniors, including Thorne, King and goalkeeper Courtney Perkins, Jenkins said this season ought to be remembered.
“This has never happened in school history,” Jenkins said. “We had never had a winning season until three years ago. It’s just great. We’re growing our program, and hopefully, we’ll continue to move forward.”
No. 7 Camden County 7
No. 2 Tarboro 1
Goals: Lydia Shiel (CC) 4’, 4’, 10’; Amanda Gilkin (CC) 43’, 51’; Caroline Robinson (CC) 72’; Shayla Thorne (T) 73’.
Shots (On Target): CC: 31 (15). T: 2 (1).
Saves: Courtney Perkins (T) 8.
Nick Piotrowicz can be reached at 407-9952 or firstname.lastname@example.org