Independence and Queens Grant Advance in State Playoffs

Patriots Cvan Than scores winning goal. (Ed Berti)
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Both local soccer teams won big victories against higher seeded teams in the second round of the NCHSAA State Soccer Playoffs.  Our local high schools will now advance to the third round of their respective state championships.

Jamie Escobar Membrano with shot on goal. (Ed Berti)

The third round is now going deep into the playoffs.  Hopefully both clubs can get into the next round with upset victories.  This would be a great story for local sports in Mint Hill and the surrounding area.

In the NCHSAA 4A category Independence defeated their opponent Northwest Guilford the #1 seed 1-0 on Tuesday night.  The game was at a stalemate with no goals being scored.  The entire Patriots defense led by seniors Dino Silva and Nigel Johnson along with goalkeeper Adam Ali played exceptionally well to earn the clean sheet.

The winning goal occurred late in the second half with ten minutes remaining in the match.  Senior forward Chase Davis continued his attacking style and would find all time scoring leader Cvan Than who would rocket a shot past the goalkeeper for the only score and winning goal.  Davis would pick up the assist and the upset was complete.

Meanwhile, in the NCHSAA 1A category Queens Grant would take on the # 2 seed Blue Ridge Early College in the West and defeated them soundly in a 5-2 victory.  The field was not in great condition due to the heavy rain prior to the match.  However, good enough to play and compete according to the officials.

Patriots Cvan Than scores winning goal. (Ed Berti)

The Stallions took a 2-0 lead in the first half.  Blue Ridge scored early in the second half to make it a 2-1 contest.  However, the Stallions would score 3 unanswered goals to complete the unexpected rout.  Mario Portillio the Stallions top scorer had 3 goals, Micah Parker and Jaime Escobar-Membrano both contributed a goal to seal the win and propel the Stallions into the third round.

The Patriots will match up against Myers Park the #8 seed on Thursday night at the Mustang’s field. The two teams met in late October, Independence won in a shootout  8-7 after the teams did not score in regulation and overtime.  While the Stallions will play their next opponent Gray Stone away.

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Ed Berti
Ed is retired and remains active as a freelance writer, local journalist and independent contractor. He is engaged in print and electronic media writing stories covering business, sports, hometown news and veteran's affairs including articles of interest to various media outlets. Ed is a graduate of Wagner College where he earned an MBA and holds a BBA from Pace University.
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