CARY — Green Hope’s boys’ soccer team felt it had dominated possession and the scoring chances. The scoreboard only read that it was a tied game in overtime.
So when MacLean Holbrook volleyed in the go-ahead goal in the first overtime period, the Falcons felt justified and relieved. With another Green Hope goal, this time in the second overtime period from Sam Rauf, the Falcons were set to move on to the third round of the 4A playoffs, netting a 3-1 win against visiting Enloe Saturday.
Thoughout much of the game, Green Hope out-shot Enloe at a nearly 2-to-1 ratio. Two shots hit the post, while others missed the frame by inches.
Still other times, an Enloe defender covered quickly to head the ball off the line or block a shot. But when one defender’s header fell to Holbrook in the game’s 84th minute, he powered it back into the net.
“Luckily the kid just headed it to me and I put it away,” Holbrook said. “It was pretty unlucky how some of them didn’t go in, but I’m glad I could put one away and help the team.”
Up until that point, Green Hope coach Richard Huxford wondered whether his players were putting too much pressure on themselves to score, playing in front of one of the season’s largest crowds.
“It was one of the first nights we had students out, and it felt like a different atmosphere,” goalkeeper Sam Bissett said.
Green Hope’s Zack Compton scored in the 11th minute by dispossessing the Enloe keeper, who couldn’t pick up the ball, then slotting in a goal behind him.
Enloe faced a number of shots, but kept the Falcons off the board for the next 73 minutes. The Eagles’ Tim Preston put Enloe on the scoreboard after a scrum in the box after a corner kick.
Enloe fired a shot on goal with three minutes left into the second overtime, but it was smothered by Bissett.
“You always worry when you have chances that you’ll be hit by the sucker-punch,” said Huxford. “Soccer has got a habit of kicking you in the teeth for sure but I think it would’ve been a bit of an injustice if we had lost.”
Enloe coach Delanie Miller declined to comment after the game.
The Falcons will host Sanderson on Wednesday at 6 p.m.
“They’ve obviously got to be respected with the record that they’ve got and their winning mentality,” Huxford said. “I think it’ll be a cracking game. I’m happy that we’re home, I think that’s big. But we’ll have to be right, we’ll have to be on their game.”
Blake: 919-460-2606 or twitter.com/JMBpreps