ELIZABETHTOWN — The Lady Eagles built a 4-0 lead by halftime and made it stand up for a 4-1 win over visiting North Pitt in the first round of the state’s Class 2-A soccer playoffs.
The win improves the No. 13-seed East Bladen to 16-4 and sends the Lady Eagles into the second round Saturday at No. 4-seed Dixon.
Justyna Gargala tallied another hat trick for East Bladen, scoring three goals in the first half, while Patience Ward scored the Lady Eagles’ fourth goal — all behind three assists from Ashley Hardin, two assists from Hannah Devane and an assist from Ward.
East Bladen had an 8-2 advantage in corner kicks during the match and got 10 steals from Lexi Mendell, eight steals from Hardin, seven steals each from Trinity Carroll and Maddie West, and six steals each from Sarah Johnson and Cassidy Davis. As a team, the Lady Eagles were credited with 81 steals.
In the nets, Ting Lin recorded two saves for East Bladen.
The Lady Eagles outshot the No. 19-seed Lady Panthers by a 27-2 margin.
W. Curt Vincent can be reached by calling 910-862-4163.