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One Goal In Mind
CONTACT SPORT. (L to R) Northern Nash’s Bria Lewis and Bunn’s Jho Ramirez race for possession during last Friday’s girls soccer matchup on the NNHS campus in Red Oak. (Graphic photos by Geoff Neville)
RED OAK -- With talented forward Whitney Bunn unavailable due to her commitment to the North Carolina-South Carolina All-Star Basketball Game, Bunn High School was destined to have difficulty scoring during its non-league girls soccer showdown last Friday at Northern Nash.

Just one day earlier, the Ladycats, with Bunn already in South Carolina for the hoops contest, were shut out during an overtime loss at Franklinton.

But Northern Nash coach Joe McCarthy had hoped for his club to be more prolific on offense, but the Lady Knights were undone by some strong play from Bunn keeper Haley Jones.

Normally a defender, Jones was forced into the net due to an injury, and she proved to be up to the challenge, making several clutch saves to keep Northern Nash off the scoreboard.

Northern also had some placement issues off shots, especially in the first half of action.

Finally, NNHS broke through with a second-half tally to edge the Ladycats by a 1-0 margin in prep soccer action on the NN campus.

For the Lady Knights, the outing provided one more chance to prepare for the rigors of their Big East Conference schedule, which began this week.

Bunn has long since kicked off action in the competitive Northern Carolina Conference, albeit with mixed results.

But BHS is a different team when the high-scoring Bunn is in the lineup, but she was in the Palmetto State getting ready for last Saturday’s All-Star Game.

Another excellent area hoopster who doubles as a soccer standout is Northern Nash junior Alexus Hill, who continues to create plenty of offensive chances for the Lady Knights.

Northern was able to break through 24 minutes into the second half as senior veteran Claire Fleming scored off a tough angle for what would prove to be the lone marker of the contest.

The Lady Knights outshot BHS 16-2 for the outing.

“We just didn’t finish,’’ said NNHS head coach Joe McCarthy. “We have four breakaways that we couldn’t convert on. We have to do a better job of finishing.

“But Bunn was really good defensively -- they made it  hard for us to get through. We have to develop better midfield play.

“(With Whitney Bunn out), Bunn doesn’t have that one big offensive threat. But they are much-improved on the defensive end.’’

Northern Nash will resume its Big East ledger today with a road matchup against the Southern Nash Ladybirds.

First kick is scheduled for 5 p.m. at the SNHS Soccer Complex in Stanhope.

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