Polk County took care of the important matter Monday, clearing the stage for celebrations equally as meaningful.
The Wolverines marked Senior Night with a 4-0 victory over Chase in G.M. Tennant Stadium, remaining squarely in the hunt for second place in the Mountain Foothills 7 Conference and a 2A home playoff match.
Polk (13-3-1, 6-2-1) remains tied for second with Brevard, which nipped Patton 1-0 on Monday. The Blue Devils host conference leader Hendersonville on Tuesday while Polk travels to East Rutherford. The two teams then meet Thursday in Brevard.
Those matches, though, weren’t quite on the collective minds of Polk players on Monday evening. The Wolverines’ six seniors – Susanna Ashworth, Caroline Emory, Luna Gonzalez, Jamilett Ramirez, Jocelynn Ramirez and Ella Waldman – each started, and that group plus junior Elena Carroll helped give the Wolverines a 1-0 halftime lead, Carroll scoring midway through the half.
The senior sextet received hugs and accolades during a halftime ceremony, then went to work in the second half to make certain Chase (3-11-1, 0-9) would not spoil the evening.
Jamilett Ramirez took a nice pass from Caroline Taylor deep in the penalty area and scored in the 48th minute, upping the lead to 2-0. Ashworth drilled a shot off the post a minute later – her second near-goal of the evening – before finding the net in the 56th minute, poking home a rebound after a flurry around the goal.
Waldman also struck the post with a shot moments later before freshman Charley Dusenbury capped the scoring, getting free on the right wing and sending a low line drive into the left corner of the net for the 4-0 advantage.
The seniors began to leave the field one by one in the final minutes, then joined teammates again at the final whistle for another bit of festivity – presentation of a commemorative game ball to head coach Lennox Charles, marking his recent 500th career victory at Polk County. As he did following that milestone win, Charles performed another cartwheel to the delight of his players.
It may have been a bit windy and cool, but the celebratory evening no doubt sent Polk players and fans home with the warmth of success ahead of what will be a challenging three-day stretch.