For the second straight year the soccer season for the Owen Warlassies ended in the third round of the NCHSAA playoffs.
Owen, which entered the playoffs as a number 8 seed, brought a 16-3-1 record to Dietz Field in Hendersonville on May 15 when they faced off against the number 1 seeded Bearcats, who entered the contest with a 21-0-1 mark. The match was decided in the 74th minute on the game's only goal, scored by Hendersonville freshman Annabelle Grymrek.
Owen opened the season with an 0-2-1 record before reeling off 17 straight wins. Heading into the match between the Mountain 6 Conference champions and the Western Highlands Conference champions, the Warlassies had not lost a game since March 13.
The Bearcats entered the contest outscoring opponents 127-12 through 22 games, but the Warlassies defense held the 12th ranked 2A team in the state scoreless through the first half.
Owen head coach David Fiest encouraged his players to "keep doing what you're doing" at the half.
The game remained scoreless for most of the second half until a pass by Bearcats senior Eden Hawkins found Grymrek in front of the net. Hendersonville held onto the 1-0 advantage through the final six minutes to advance to the fourth round, where they will take on South Point.
The Warlassies' season ended in a third-round loss to Salisbury in 2018, when Fiest guided the team to its deepest postseason run in the history of the program. Owen picked up where it left off a year ago, going 10-0 in the WHC for the second consecutive season.
Junior Camryn Bolick led the Warlassies with 25 goals, while senior Carly Campbell was tops with 16 assists. Kayla Roseman scored 22 goals for Fiest's squad, while Campbell added 14 of her own. Freshman Mattie Lehman chipped in with 12 goals in 2019.
Owen's roster featured six seniors in 2019, including goalkeeper C.J. Graham, who committed to Lipscomb University in November of 2018. Graham was injured to start the season but returned to the net to allow only 5 goals in 13 games.
Fiest, the head coach of both the girls and boys programs at the school, has led each program to the third round of the playoffs twice since 2016. Owen soccer has won 40 straight WHC contests since the fall of 2017.