Area players accounted for more than half of the 16-player East all-stars roster for the N.C. Coaches Association boys soccer match Tuesday, as the East topped the West for the second consecutive year.
Sanderson’s Ryan Turner netted two goals in the second half to create distance in the 5-2 win in the annual game featuring recent high school graduates from across the state at UNC-Greensboro Soccer Stadium.
Local players included: Green Hope’s Zach Compton, Holly Springs’ John McNulty, Fuquay-Varina’s Dean Rutherford and Apex’s Robert Smith.
“It’s been really nice meeting all these new guys and really high-quality players overall,” said Compton, who helped Green Hope win two state titles and reach the 4A East final three straight seasons. “We had pretty high expectations just judging off of our talent on the East team just because we knew we had a really solid team, so we were pretty excited to play this game. I think that helped a lot to help our attitude, and then we just came out here and just played and it worked out.”
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Fuquay-Varina’s Rutherford scored for the East all-stars in the 52nd minute, firing an unassisted shot into the right corner from 20 yards out to put the East all-stars up 3-1.
“It was so exciting,” Rutherford said. “It’s a huge crowd, it’s not really what you’re used to because high school crowds don’t get too crazy. ... (Playing with a group of players from different schools) is a little difficult because you don’t really have the mojo going, but a couple practices in we kind of started playing pretty good together and we got the W.”