Geri Messinger’s campaigning paid off.
Midway through the first half of Cedar Ridge’s women’s soccer game against Orange, she asked Coach P.J. Michaelson to be moved up to midfield away from her standard position of centerback.
Michaelson agreed—but only if she could score within two minutes.
She only needed about 15 seconds.
Her header in the 32nd minute capped a first half where Cedar Ridge scored four goals. The Red Wolves rolled past Orange 7-0 to complete a season sweep of the Panthers on Wednesday night at Red Wolves Stadium.
Once again, Cedar Ridge sophomore Emmy Talley scored three goals for her fourth hat trick of the season. Talley came away from the Orange game with 17 goals on the season. She also assisted on a goal by junior Meredith Braddy in the first half.
The Red Wolves (6-8-1 overall, 4-6 in the Big 8 Conference) have defeated Orange four straight times. After Brittany Daley (now a starter with Divison III Greensboro College) graduated last year, Messinger had to fill her spot.
“It’s that ‘next man up’ mentality,” Michaleson said. “Geri knew that when Brittany graduated, she would be the centerback. Kathryn Benedict had been a centerback on her club team and we knew we could rely on both of them. Geri’s free kicks are amazing. She’s had lots of assists on corners and free kicks. She got a goal tonight.”
Summer Brooks scored in the 2nd half for the Red Wolves. Junior midfielder Giselle Solis Morales finished with three assists, matching her total she amassed against the Panthers in their first matchup on March 25.
After reaching the second round of the state playoffs last season, Cedar Ridge has struggled to get healthy through the course of a start-and-stop season that’s been plagued by rain and injuries. With two weeks remaining in the regular season, the Red Wolves still have a chance to reach the state playoffs for the fourth year in a row.
Michaelson says last week’s 5-0 loss to Chapel Hill was the first time all season that his team had its full complement of players.
“We’ve had to mesh everything together,” Michaelson said. “Tonight, we knew we had to come out full speed and try to rush the tempo. It looked really good tonight. We haven’t let ourselves get down because you can’t control injuries. The weather has been awful. We’ve had to play lots of games in a row because of the weather.”
Orange (2-10, 1-7) continues to look for a consistent offense. The Panthers’ only Big 8 Conference victory came in a 6-1 win at Hillside on March 20. Junior Taylor Montague notched two goals against the Hornets. Senior Rainier Vaughn scored a goal and an assist for the Lady Panthers. Camdyn Fickes, Logan Rogers and Isabelle Fox also scored goals for Orange.
The Lady Panthers’ other win came against Roxboro Community School on March 6. Lizebth Torres and Jessica Colon Diaz scored against the Bulldogs.
Orange will host Southern Durham on Monday in its senior night game.