Area scores: Crusaders keep win streak going
Grace Christian 9, Northwood Temple 0
The Crusaders (14-2-1, 6-0-0) rolled to a conference win, needing only 55 minutes for a mercy-rule win, in Fayetteville on Friday afternoon. Junior Ricardo Castenedas scored his first hat trick of the season while Evan Kannarr, Nathan Holt, Sam Holt, Jose Leonidez, Salvador Leonidez and Victor Mondragon scored a goal each. Castenedas opened the scoring in the second minute.
Salvador Leonidez led the Crusaders with four assists. He has 12 goals and 21 assists for the season.
"Salvador is playing at an extremely high level," said Grace Christian head coach Chris Pratt. "He is getting a lot of looks for a lot of colleges and his play is getting better each game."
The Crusaders are on a 10-game winning streak. The attacking play of Kannarr, Castenedas and Jose Leonidez has been a big part of the streak, Pratt said. Kannarr, a senior and four-year player, is closing in on the Crusader all-time scoring and points records.
The Crusaders have turned to a new defensive system recently, going to a three-man back line.
"I have never played a 3-back formation but the guys have really learned and developed as players," Pratt said.
Captain and midfielder Joel Benitez has been key to the new formation, Pratt said.
"Joel is steady. He is a great holding mid and has good vision. He is one of the main reasons we are as successful as we are," he said.
Even as state runner-up the last two seasons, this is the best start to a season in Crusader history. The squad's depth, as Pratt has nine seniors and nine juniors, has been and will continue to be important.
"I play anywhere from 16-20 guys every game. My bench is one of the biggest reasons we are as successful as we are. They have all played important roles in our team, our chemistry and our success," said Pratt.
Grace Christian will continue in CCC play at Wayne Christian at 5 p.m. Tuesday.
Cape Fear Christian 6, Lee Christian 2
The host Eagles (4-4-2, 3-2-1) beat the Falcons (3-4, 3-3) in a Carolina Christian match in Erwin Friday afternoon. Cape Fear Christian will play a CCC match at Crossroads Christian at 4 p.m. Tuesday while Lee Christian will play a conference match at Northwood Temple at 4 p.m. Tuesday.
Lee Christian 3, Cape Fear Christian 1
The Lady Falcons (5-3, 5-2) made it four wins in their last five matches with a CCC win at Cape Fear Christian (4-4, 4-2) on Friday.
The Lady Falcons will play at Northwood Temple at 5 p.m. Tuesday. Cape Fear Christian will host Freedom Christian at 5:15 p.m. Monday.