Owen High's girls soccer team ended the regular season on a four-game winning streak. Its victory against North Buncombe High came at a steep price, however, likely cashing the Warlassies out in the first round of the state playoffs.
Concussions that three Warlassies suffered against the Black Hawks may have proved Owen's undoing in the May 10 game it hosted at Montreat College's soccer field against Central Academy of Technology and Arts.
Owen finished the regular season with an overall record of 14-6. The Warlassies were 9-3 in the Western Highlands Conference, behind Hendersonville and Polk, respectively. The Warlassies earned a number 14 seed in the N.C. High School Athletic Association State Championships, giving them a home match in the opening round.
With the track surrounding the field at Warhorse Stadium forcing the Warlassies to play elsewhere, the game took place at Montreat’s Pulliam Stadium.
Central Academy of Technology and Arts, a school in Monroe that finished the regular season 13-8-1, jumped out to an early lead over Owen and carried a 4-0 lead into the half. The Cougars continued to play aggressively to open the second half and advanced to face Salisbury in the second round with a 5-0 victory.
Prior to the game, Warlassies’ head coach David Fiest expressed concern that his team would be going into the playoffs without three key players, who all suffered concussions during the win over North Buncombe. A pair of sophomores, Emma Shockley and Brooklyn Roland, as well as freshman Carly Campbell, were unable to play against the Cougars due to the injuries they suffered back in April.
Each of those players were key contributors for the Warlassies during the regular season, according to Fiest.
Last season CATA entered the tournament as a number 15 seed and advanced to the Final Four round, where the Cougars lost to Forbush. The CATA Cougars beat number 2 seed Newton-Conover 3-0 in the second round in 2016, days after the latter eliminated Owen 6-0.