PUMPKIN CENTER — The North Lincoln Knights took a 3-0 win over the Polk County Wolverines with ease in the first round of the North Carolina High School Athletic Association 2A playoffs on Wednesday.
Senior Brendan D’Amato secured North Lincoln’s first goal less than five minutes into the match with a right-footed shot across the mouth of the goal after a throw-in.
The Knights continued their attack through the first half but were turned away by Polk County’s four-man defensive front. North Lincoln sophomore Mitchel Brown launched a header at the Wolverines’ goal moments after D’Amato’s score, but the shot landed in the hands of the Polk County goalkeeper.
The Wolverines made advances on the North Lincoln goal, sticking to the sidelines. Polk County senior Jordan Brown fielded the ball near the left corner of North Lincoln’s end of the field several times, but junior Knight Jacob Gordon either chased down the ball to turn it away or outmaneuvered Brown with deft footwork.
Brown had a near-miss on the Polk County goal as the first half expired.
He didn’t have to wait long to give the Knights a 2-0 lead. Brown fielded a pass near midfield and broke away and, while under heavy pressure from a Polk County defender, made a shot that reached the back of the net.
The Knights dominated the remainder of the second half and held the ball near midfield while probing Polk County’s defense. North Lincoln freshman Zach Tilley scored the final goal of the match, with six minutes remaining, on a breakaway. The Polk County goalkeeper emerged from the net and left the penalty area to try to stop Tilley’s advance with his body, but the freshman juked to the right and then sunk a shot on the open goal.
North Lincoln now leaves the comfort of its home stadium to travel to Brevard High School for a second-round game on Saturday.