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Topsail romps into third round of soccer playoffs


Topsail's Joe Englese (left) battles for possession against a Reidsville player on Saturday, Nov. 3, 2012, in a second-round playoff match in Hampstead. (Photo by Photo by Matt Born)


 

HAMPSTEAD | Topsail dominated Reidsville from start to finish and breezed into the third round of the 2A boys soccer playoffs with an 8-0 win on Saturday.

Topsail (13-6-4) will play the winner of the Jordan Matthews-Richlands game.

The Pirates controlled the first half and led 2-0 at halftime on goals by Taylor Webster and Alec Webster. 

Any hopes of a Rams' comeback were snuffed out by the Pirates' second-half offensive explosion.

Starting with Joe Englese's strike from just outside the box in the 52nd minute, Topsail ripped off four goals in 4 minutes.

"We just felt it," senior midfielder Devon Esteves said. "We were playing well as a team, and we were getting up the field and making chances."

Englese's goal was followed barely a minute later by a strike from Sammy Johnson, set up by Esteves. The next minute, Johnson set up Esteves. Alec Webster finished the scoring spurt.

Topsail coach Ian McMichael was doused with water after the game in celebration of his birthday, but said that the 12 seniors on Topsail's roster stepped up.

"They're hungry, dedicated, passionate, and they played like an absolutely brilliant team today," McMichael said. "It's fun to watch this group play. I'm hoping we can watch them a few more games."

Esteves said Topsail built toward those goals with extended possession. The Pirates controlled the ball for much of the game and kept pressure on the Reidsville defense. 

"It was definitely building it up," Esteves said. "I think we just kept getting momentum one after the other. I think the other team kind of got their heads down a little bit and we kept firing away."

That stretch of play turned the game from a competitive back-and-forth to a Topsail rout. The Pirates added two more goals from Taylor Webster and Parker Davis for the final margin.

"When you have momentum and you get a couple goals, the other team sometimes tends to maybe check out mentally," McMichael said. "And we were able to capitalize and stay on top of them. We had some great finishing."

With the win, Topsail advances to the third round for the second straight year, and, Esteves said, the team is proud of the continued success.

"It's awesome," Esteves said. "I want to keep going though. I don't want to stop right now, because it's my last year."

 

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