The NCHSAA released brackets for the upcoming state soccer playoffs, and for Surry Central, the opportunity to redeem a bitter defeat has finally come, one year later.
A year ago, Surry Central entered the 2A state playoffs as co-champions of the tough Western Piedmont Athletic Conference and a popular pick to make a deep run into the postseason, but ran into a brilliant effort from Lincolnton goalkeeper Daniel McBride in the first round. The Golden Eagles outplayed the Wolves throughout the match, but McBride, a Division I college prospect, denied them all night and eventually carried his team to victory in a shootout after the teams played to a scoreless tie through regulation and two overtimes.
McBride isn’t there anymore, but Lincolnton (9-7-3) still managed a successful season, as the fourth-place team in the Southern District 7 with a 7-5-2 league mark, and when the state athletic association announced its playoff pairings on Thursday, the Golden Eagles drew the sixth seed in the West and a first-round rematch with the Wolves.
Surry Central (17-4-1) will host the match on Saturday at 4 p.m. The winner will play either Hendersonville or West Stokes in the second round on Tuesday.
Both North Surry and Mount Airy are also playoff-bound, as they had already known for some time. Now they know the details.
The 15-5-2 Greyhounds, who finished third in the WPAC behind Forbush and Central, drew the No. 8 seed in another West Regional pod and will host West Caldwell on Saturday at 7 p.m. The Warriors (13-8-1) qualified with a second-place finish in the Southern District 7 Conference. The winner will either play SD7 champ Newton-Conover or West Lincoln in a Tuesday match.
The Granite Bears also made it into their field as an 8 seed. Mount Airy (15-6-1), the third-place team in the Northwest 1A, hosts 7-9 Hayesville, the No. 9 seed in its pod after finishing third in the Smoky Mountain Conference this season. If Mount Airy, which will host the match on Saturday at 4 p.m., wins, it advances to a Tuesday second-round match against either Blue Ridge Early College or River Mill Academy.