Thursday, October 6, 2011

O'Brien on track to shatter his own scoring mark

Hunt junior Eric O'Brien is on pace to break his own single-season scoring record for the Warriors. After a hat trick in Wednesday night's 10-1 win at Northern Nash, O'Brien has 42 goals, seven shy of the mark he set last fall. With four regular-season matches remaining, O'Brien has a great chance to hit 50 before the postseason begins. If the 3-A Big East Conference holds a postseason tournament this year, O'Brien will have at least one more, if not two chances before the state 3-A playoffs begin.

By the way, the N.C. High School Athletic Association record is 92, set by Surry Central's Michael Richardson in 2001, breaking his own mark of 87 set the year before. O'Brien won't come close to either of those numbers but if he gets to 53, he'll be in the top 10 all-time single-season goal scorers in NCHSAA boys soccer.

If the 14-0 Warriors clinch the Big East's top seed, they should be able to get to the fourth round again, where they will most likely encounter Jacksonville for the fifth straight year. The Cardinals defeated Hunt on penalty kicks in the fourth round last season. The good news for Hunt this time is the Cardinals might not be as strong whereas the Warriors seem better than they were a year ago. If Hunt wins, Raleigh Cardinal Gibbons lurks as the potential winner of the "lower" bracket. Gibbons currently is ranked No. 1 in the state in the N.C. Soccer Coaches Association 3-A poll, one ahead of Hunt.

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