Freshmen Makaya Parham, and Hope Freeman combined to tally three goals to help lead Millbrook Women’s Soccer to its first playoff win since 2014. The Wildcats defeated Northern Durham 4-2 on Tuesday night to set up a second round matchup against rival Sanderson.
Millbrook’s offense mustered 27 shots, including 16 on frame in the victory. Parham broke the ice early when Maya Celetti navigated up the sideline, and served a ball to the outstretched right foot of Parham for the 10th minute score.
Nine minutes later, Millbrook’s ninth shot of the contest found the back of the net for a 2-0 advantage. Off of a Haley Flowers throw-in, Brianna Morris sent a ball to the front of the net that was deflected top-shelf off of a Parham header.
Through the first twenty games of her career, Parham has already registered 12 goals, eight coming over the span of Millbrook’s last six games.
“Makaya is such a fantastic player. It hasn’t taken long for us to have a strong trust for her to come through, especially on a big stage” said head coach Matt Edwards whose Wildcats took a 2-0 lead into halftime.
After stopping the only two shots that came her way in the opening 40 minutes, goalkeeper Hayleigh Pack gave way to Erin Mulligan for the second half. Mulligan surrendered a goal 64 seconds into the second stanza to allow Northern to cut the deficit in half, but over the course of the next 30 minutes, the junior made three stops between the pipes.
Millbrook extended its lead to 3-1 ten minutes into the second half when junior varsity call-up, Hope Freeman got her foot on a loose ball following a corner kick from Lauren Griffiths. Only a minute into her varsity tenure, Freeman maneuvered her way into the box, and poked in the 50th minute score.
Brynn Lloyd put the icing on the cake with a long-distance goal to make it 4-1 Millbrook in the 60th minute. Griffiths left a ball for Lloyd who raced in from the midfield, and blasted a shot from about 35-yards out for her third goal of the season.
The 21st-seeded Knights narrowed the gap to 4-2 with eight minutes left to play. Serenity Ellis was denied by Mulligan, but ran down the rebound, and sent it into an open goal for her fifth of the year.
Northern Durham’s season ends with a 10-7-1 record, and a third place finish in the PAC-6 Conference.
12th-seeded Millbrook advances to the second round, and will host rival Sanderson, a #28 seed who upset Pine Forest on Tuesday. The Wildcats and Spartans played into extra time in each of its regular season meetings; Millbrook won both matches, including a 2-1 victory last Wednesday at the Wildcat Stadium.