The 2023 girls soccer season came to an end Monday night as the Mustangs lost in the NCHSAA 3A playoffs to West Henderson 1-0. The Mustangs had been seeded #10 in the west region while the Falcons got the #2 seed. East finishes with a 19-5-2 overall record. West Henderson will advance to the West Region semi-finals where they'll take on Lake Norman Charter, the #3 seed, led by superstar striker Rylie Cook, who has scored 48 goals this season and averages 2.5 goals per game.
East Lincoln was best known for its outstanding defense. Goalkeeper Lily Cleeland had 175 saves over the 26 games. The Mustangs finished second in the Western Foothills Conference with a 12-1-1 league record, just behind 13-1 Hickory.
St. Stephens, who finished third in the conference with a 10-3-1 league mark, beat Hickory Monday to advance to the next round against Belmont South Point. The game ended in a 1-1 tie, but while Hickory made three of its five penalty kicks, the Indians made four to claim the win. South Point, the #1 seed in the west region, beat Enka 5-1. Still undefeated after 23 games (20 wins and three ties) the Red Raiders will host St. Stephens at 7 PM Thursday (May 25th). One of East Lincoln's two ties this season was against South Point on March 18th by a 1-1 score.