Playoffs begin for WHS soccer team
by Steve Behr Sports Editor
The game is scheduled to begin either at 6 tonight at Jack Groce Stadium
The Pioneers, who are 16-4-1 overall, 9-4-1 in the Northwestern Conference, earned the No. 1 seed from the league in the state 4-A tournament after sweeping the other NWC 4-A program, South Caldwell, during the regular season. Watauga, which is seeded sixth in the state tournament, finished third overall in the conference behind Fred T. Foard and Freedom.
Mooresville goes into the game with an 11-9-1 overall record, 7-6-1 in the North Piedmont Conference. The Blue Devils finished off their season with a 1-0 victory over Lake Norman on Oct. 23, which followed a 1-0 loss to South Iredell. Both games were on the road.
"They've lost to teams with winning records," Pioneers coach Woody McKay said. "Those are quality teams. They came back after losing to South Iredell 1-0 and came back to beat Lake Norman. I think they'll be a team like Hickory or St. Stephens, who we could beat, but we could also lose to depending on how we play."
Watauga finished its season with a 3-0 win over Freedom on Oct. 23 on a chilly and windy night at Jack Groce Stadium. Logan Raichle, Canyon Mueller and Hunter Martin all scored first-half goals to give the Pioneers a 3-0 halftime lead.
Just two games earlier, Watauga was knocked out of contention for a NWC regular season title with a 2-1 loss to St. Stephens and a 1-0 loss at Fred T. Foard.
Mooresville has played two teams from the NWC this season. The Blue Devils beat South Caldwell 2-1, but lost to Freedom 3-1. Both games were played in August.
McKay feels that based on the scores and quality of opponents Mooresville has played over the course of its season, they Blue Devils have gotten better.
"It looks like they've improved because they have a close win over South Caldwell and a loss to Freedom early on, but they also lost to Lake Norman and they're traditionally pretty good," McKay said. "They beat them in the last games of the season, so I think they're one of those teams that is on the way up."