WAKE FOREST — Sanderson retained its position atop the Cap Eight soccer standings Monday, beating Heritage 4-1 in a matchup between the league’s top two teams.
Sanderson, ranked No. 2 by the News & Observer among area teams, kept No. 5 Heritage on its toes early on with five shots on goal in the first eight minutes.
The Huskies were able to stop a few near-scores, but Sanderson senior forward Connor Francis eventually made Heritage pay, putting the first score on the board in the 30th minute.
The Spartans would lead for the rest of the game.
“Connor is having a great year,” said Sanderson coach Todd Worley. “He has the ability to score goals and he’s taken his team on his back.”
Junior midfielder Ryan Turner gave Sanderson more breathing room in the second half, scoring in the 42nd minute.
As Heritage (10-4-0, 7-2-0) builds the foundation of its young program, Sanderson seems to have the Huskies’ number. Both of Heritage’s league losses have come against the Spartans.
“We were hesitant and a bit conservative,” said Heritage coach Scott Sloan. “I don’t know if it was fear or too much respect, but we weren’t dangerous and aggressive enough early on and on our own field. … In three years we’re yet to put up a good effort against Sanderson.”
Sanderson (15-0-2, 8-0-1), the 2011 Cap Eight tournament champion, is undefeated with two ties.
When the Huskies and Spartans met last month, Sanderson won 3-0. That game was during the Spartans’ string of eight consecutive shutouts, but Kidd Bottomley made sure there would be no shutout this time.
The Heritage junior put the Huskies on the board and down one goal in the 54th, but it wouldn’t be enough to take down the Spartans.
Sanderson scored twice more on a Heritage own goal in the 63rd minute and a Troy Williard strike in the 68th.
“If (Heritage) won, they had everything on their side,” Worley said. “When they scored to make it 2-1, we could have broken, but I’m really proud of my guys’ effort.”
Going forward, Worley said the Spartans need to continue taking it one game at a time as the regular season winds down.
Heritage will play No. 7 Enloe Wednesday, and Sanderson will host Millbrook.