RALEIGH — On a chilly opening day of the CASL visitRaleigh.com National Soccer Series Boys Showcase, teams from Triangle clubs competed with hard-fought success against competition from across the nation.
Many of Friday's games at the WRAL Soccer Center in North Raleigh, especially in the top age brackets, were low-scoring affairs.
Tournament director Stewart Pierce said most of the area teams had very aggressive games.
"They were all very competitive matches -- within one goal, which is what you would expect at this level," he said.
The teams will return to the field this morning after a hectic Friday that ran smoothly considering that all 14 of the soccer complex's fields were filled most of the day.
"We only had one ambulance call on a broken leg," Pierce said. "Overall, a very successful day considering many teams didn't arrive till this morning."
CASL '91 Elite
In the Elite Campeon division, the CASL '91 Elite scored on an early penalty kick and held on to win 1-0 over Cobb Premier of Georgia.
"CASL played really well," said forward Patrick Dipper, an Enloe High School student. "We didn't play our best game today, but we distributed the ball pretty well."
The game was CASL Elite's first together. The team has been practicing for two months to showcase its players' abilities in the tournament.
Triangle United Gold
The Triangle United Gold was left to start play without its coach, who happens to be University of North Carolina coach Elmar Bolowich.
Bolowich was otherwise occupied in Cary on Friday coaching the Tar Heels in their Friday night match against Akron in the NCAA Men's College Cup semifinals.
Bolowich was expected to return to guide his Triangle United team today, but his guidance was missed Friday as Triangle United tied Great Falls (Va.) 0-0 in a U19 game.
"We came out unfocused -- not serious," said midfielder Mike Paye of East Wake High School. "We didn't jump on the team early enough.
"With his presence, we jump a lot faster than we did today. He was missed and hopefully will help us pull out a win tomorrow."
Triangle Futbol Club
The Triangle Futbol Club Navy team played two U19 matches.
Struggling to gain control during its first match against United FC 91 Elite from Northern Virginia, TFC Navy rallied to tie 1-1.
TFC Navy captain Payne Clark said his team played well despite failing to capitalize on many plays.
"We dominated our shots, but they went straight to the keeper," Clark said. "We couldn't find the corner. [United FC Elite] scored first, and that woke us up a little."
TFC Navy scored with four minutes left to tie.
In its second match, TFC Navy dominated SOCA Lightning from Charlottesville, Va., 5-0.