HENSPTS-03-31-21 SOCCER1

Vance Charter soccer player Emma Montgomery (center) kicks the ball past an Oxford Prep defender during her team’s 7-0 victory on Monday afternoon.

OXFORD — The Vance Charter women’s soccer team claimed its first victory of the 2021 season on Monday afternoon with a dominant 7-0 victory over their local rivals Oxford Prep.

Vance Charter head coach Johnny Yount said the soggy field conditions offered his players a fair share of challenges, but added the team needed to overcome several issues in the first half to pull off such a sizable win.

“We were a little bit slow there in the first half,” Yount said. “We’re finding our feet and our teammates, but we weren’t distributing the ball very well. We took advantage of some more opportunities in the second half and I was very impressed with our effort.”

Senior Mary Hoyle got Vance Charter on the board very early, but both sides had to endure issues with moving the ball and finding looks at the net.

The scoring drought was finally broken late in the first half when Knights senior Emma Montgomery snuck a shot past Oxford Prep goalkeeper Samantha Huff to give Vance Charter a 2-0 lead at the end of the first half.

Even though they held the lead, Vance Charter firmly took control of the game following a fantastic shot from Hoyle near the middle of the field. Sophomores Peyton Pittard and Abi Kate Collins teamed up moments later to bait Huff into leaving the goal, which led to Pittard registering the goal.

Montgomery’s second goal of the day gave Vance Charter a 5-0 advantage, with Pittard and Collins closing out their team’s strong afternoon with goals of their own.

Oxford Prep head coach Brent Bedwell believed his team was the victim of a handful of bad calls throughout the afternoon, but he praised the effort his players displayed against Vance Charter despite their relative inexperience.

“I think we did really well for a team that had six players that have never played soccer before,” Bedwell said. “To have them come out and compete throughout the whole game was a big victory for us.”

With one win officially in the books, Yount is looking forward to the rest of the season and is hoping that his team displays the smart decision making they displayed in the second half against Oxford Prep as they try to pursue a North Central 1A Conference title.

“We need to have a much better game when it comes to sharing the ball,” Yount said. “We can not afford to just watch the ball. We have to go after it and be aggressive.”

Following a matchup against East Wake Academy on Tuesday, Vance Charter will get a brief break to regroup for a rematch against Oxford Prep on April 5.