Wayne Country Day opened the postseason with a 4-1 against John Paul II on Thursday afternoon.
Thomas Gurley notched a hat trick, while Anthony Valentine scored one goal and one assist. The Chargers (18-2 overall) advance to face Westchester Country Day in the N.C. Independent Schools Athletic Association 2A quarterfinals on Saturday at 2 p.m.
“I think overall we played well. We never had trouble in this game,” Wayne Country Day head coach Steve Ellis said. “It’s keeping the momentum, and can we take it up another notch against arguably a stronger team.”
The Saints did a decent job of holding off the Chargers for the first 15 minutes of the game, but in the 16th minute, the Chargers broke the game open.
Off a pass from Valentine, Gurley easily tucked the ball away inside the net.
Later in the 21st minute, Valentine called his own number and scored to give the Chargers to 2-0 lead at halftime.
“We break really quick toward the goal, and there’s not a lot of teams that can turn with a defender and keep up with that speed,” Ellis said.
Wayne Country Day continued to control the game in the second half, and in the 59th minute, Gurley scored his second goal of the game.
John Paul managed to score a goal in the 62nd minute, but the Chargers immediately responded.
Sprinting down the field, Gurley made his through seemingly to the entire Saints roster on the way the completing the hat trick.
“Thomas has done well all season scoring goals and getting a ton of assists,’ Ellis said. “The third goal he scored, he received it, beat three players, outsprinted the last defender, and then got his shot off with his left, which is his weaker foot, but with enough power.”