Lightning really did strike twice, and the Fuquay-Varina Bengals were the beneficiaries.
A day after lightning postponed Fuquay’s home game against Cary before it could start, lightning ended the Bengals’ game against Garner on Thursday night.
This time, though, Fuquay could put the game in the win column, as the Bengals were ahead 2-1 in the 46th minute.
“It happens that way sometimes,” Fuquay coach Nick Acosta said. “We’d rather play the game out. We had a good opponent in Garner, and it was a good first half of soccer. Hopefully, this will lead the way for the rest of the season.”
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Fuquay (4-2-1) played some of its best soccer in the first half, using a new, more aggressive style to get two goals – both on corner kicks.
“We did amazing this half of possessing the ball,” defender Delfino Gonzales-Pena said. “We got a few chances and gave our strikers a few chances. Probably the best we’ve played, but we’ll get better over the season.”
Gonzales-Pena, who scored the Bengals’ first goal, said the return of Kevin Gorman to the lineup was a boost to the offense, too.
“That helped us a lot more,” Gonzales-Pena said. “We possessed the ball, and the new formation was looking good.”
Fuquay, 2-0 losers to the Trojans two weeks ago, pushed forward early and often in the half, with Jordan Dickenson and Cole Slater firing the first two shots.
In the ninth minute, Steven Sizemore booted a short corner kick that Brayam Mejia worked past Garner keeper Logan Torruella. Gonzales-Pena, running through the box, slid and knocked the ball in.
“Man, I finished my run,” Gonzales-Pena said. “That’s all. I think it was all God.”
Gonzales-Pena, the lone senior starter, was being humble, his coach said.
“Big Del’s a captain, and he leads the way from the back,” Acosta said. “He got a goal today, and a well-deserved one. He did the right things to get that goal. He works hard, and he’s one of the leaders.”
Fuquay went up 2-0 in the 26th minute when Mejia rammed home a corner from Germain Enriquez-Montoya.
“We don’t really work on (corner kicks) a lot,” Gonzales-Pena said. “We just have some tall people in, and hopefully you get a head or a foot (on the ball).”
Garner (2-4-1) got back in the game when Junior Ayala, who had been fouled in the box, scored on a penalty kick in the 44th minute. But lightning was spotted less than two minutes later, and the game was eventually called.
Fuquay’s attacking style could pay dividends when Southwest Wake Athletic Conference play begins next week. The game against Cary was supposed to be the SWAC opener, but Fuquay benefited from an extra non-conference game.
“We went to a different system, and it paid off for us getting more numbers in the attack,” Acosta said. “We’ve had some trouble doing that the last few games. It worked out well for us.
“We started out well, and I think we’re just going to get better. If we can keep the discipline with the guys together, I think we’ll have a good finish and look forward to hopefully going to the playoffs.”