Lee County takes historic victory over UP

Mar. 14—The old saying is that turnabout is fair play. The Lee County women's soccer team agrees.

Last fall, Union Pines came to Sanford and upset the Yellow Jackets in football, something that had not happened in so long, if ever, that no one could remember when it last occurred.

On Tuesday night, the Lady Jackets returned the favor to their conference rival just 18 miles down the road.

Lee, which had not beaten Union Pines in at least 11 years, since the Lady Jackets' women's soccer team was reclassified as 3A, went down to Cameron and did exactly that, downing the Lady Vikings 3-1 for an early leg up in the Sandhills Athletic Conference race.

The Lady Jackets (5-2 overall, 2-0 Sandhills Athletic Conference) never trailed in the contest, scoring twice before the half to take a 2-0 lead. The Lady Vikings did get on the board after the break, thanks to a late goal from Taryn Pekala, but by that time, Lee had extended the lead to 3-0 and there was no coming back from that for the home team.

Three different Lee County players scored, Gillian Garrison, Lily Currin, and Ava Baldwin. Garrison scored unassisted, but did assist on the goals by her teammates. Senior keeper Diana Ponce came up big in goal, making eight saves in her team's third straight win. The Lady Jackets are actually undefeated against 3A opponents, having lost only to a pair of Raleigh-area 4A teams on the road.

MaxPreps has limited data for Lee County prior to 2013, the Lady Jackets' last year as a 4A team. They did not play Union Pines in women's soccer that season, but the teams have played annually ever since. They have no previous record of Lee having defeated the Lady Vikings, although some meetings in recent years did go to overtime.

The Lady Jackets host Northwood tonight at 6 p.m. in a meeting of what MaxPreps views as the 17th- and 18th-ranked teams in the region. Union Pines (1-1-1, 0-1 SAC) hosts Montgomery Central tonight.