RALEIGH — Before Monday night, Leesville Road hadn’t lost a conference game since its current freshman class was in elementary school. It seemed the streak would live to see another day until Millbrook’s Jackie Stroud scored the game-winning goal with 47 seconds remaining in overtime.
Millbrook coach Matt Edwards beamed with pride when talking about his team’s 2-1 win over Leesville Road.
“It was a great team goal,” he said.
“The girls stuck to our game plan. They ran for each other, they didn’t watch. They finished the game.”
Leesville Road was the game’s aggressor for most of the first half and led at halftime after freshman Mackenzie Dipper scored the game’s first goal with 23:58 remaining in the half.
But the momentum quickly shifted as Millbrook tied the game less than a minute into the second half on a Cailyn Boch goal.
“We dominated the first half; they dominated the second half,” said Leesville Road coach Paul Dinkenor.
“In the overtime, they made more plays than we did.”
Both teams had several good looks at go-ahead goals in the second half, but neither was able to capitalize.
That trend continued into the first portion of overtime and throughout the second.
Just when it looked like the game would end in a tie, Stroud broke free and scored.
The biggest difference in the game may have been Millbrook’s speed in the middle of the field.
Dinkenor said his team prefers to lean on its length in the middle, whereas Edwards puts his focus on getting to the ball in a flash.
“Our strength of the team is the triangle in the middle,” he said. “We have four girls that play three spots, and they do an outstanding job. That’s where our leadership comes from.”
The loss was Leesville Road’s first on the season and puts them behind Millbrook in the conference standings near the season’s mid point.
Both coaches pointed out that there is still quite a ways to go before the conference title is decided.
“I don’t think anyone has handed out any trophies yet,” Dinkenor said. “It’s a tough loss, but not a fatal one.”
And Edwards made sure to tip his hat to Leesville Road, knowing that the two teams will meet again as Leesville Road attempts to return the favor by spoiling his team’s Senior Night.
“Every week they go out, they get the other team’s best shot,” he said.
“That’s the team’s shot to turn their season around, that’s the team where you can get in the newspaper if you play them. We had to play just about as well as we can play just to get that far.”