Lumberton and Terry Sanford now both have one conference loss on the season, with each team beating the other once. Both teams have four conference games left, and unless the Pirates or Bulldogs lose another conference game, a coin toss will decide which school wins the conference title and the right to host the conference tournament.
“Right now, we just have to keep pace with them,” Lumberton coach Kenny Simmons said. “Then we'll have our conference tournament and maybe that rubber match will happen.”
Lumberton had some of its best scoring chances in the first and last minutes of the game.
Just seconds after the opening kickoff, Lumberton's Kim Currie broke down the field and passed off to a teammate at the top of the box. The ball was kicked around several times, nearly rolling in before a Terry Sanford defender was able to punt it back out to midfield.
“I don't know how they didn't go in,” Simmons said of his team's multiple attempts on that series.
After the initial burst, Lumberton's offense was able to put together few other scoring opportunities.
“They did a great job of being able to control the midfield,” Simmons said. “That caused us some problems and jump-started their offense all night.”
When the Pirates did manage to get the ball past the midfield area, they often got ahead of themselves, and were called offsides.
“They were pulling an offsides trap on the back that caused a few problems,” Simmons said. “They relied pretty heavily on that.”
Terry Sanford's Rachel Yepez, who signed a soccer scholarship with LSU, opened the scoring after driving down the left side of the field away from Lumberton defenders.
Lumberton goal keeper Ashley Douglas slipped on the play just long enough for Yepez to fire a shot in the back of the net with 16:35 left in the first half.
The Pirates were able to answer, with Anna Musselwhite knotting the game with 13:28 left in the half.
Douglas was constantly tested in the first half, recording five saves - including a penalty kick by Yepez.
The Pirates were nearly able to take the lead going into halftime, as Currie served up a corner kick with 10 seconds left before the buzzer. Lumberton's Morgan Haskins headed the ball towards the goal, but it sailed over the crossbar just before time ran out.
Yepez scored the only goal of the second half with 20:18 left in the game.
Lumberton had chances to tie the game in the final 30 seconds, after Currie was twice fouled by Terry Sanford defenders just outside the box. Currie, Lumberton's biggest scoring threat with 35 goals this year, was shaken up on the second foul, and had to watch the final 13.6 seconds from the sidelines because the officials stopped the clock for her after the foul.
Lumberton's foul kick sailed high over the crossbar, ending the game.