Wake Christian Academy boys’ soccer coach Wayne Helder knew the second time around against Triangle Independent Schools Athletic Conference opponent Cary Academy wouldn’t be the same. He was right.
It was a back and forth battle fought to a 2-2 draw, a far cry from Wake Christian’s 5-2 win earlier in the year against the Chargers.
In the beginning of the game, neither team had a distinct advantage, with the ball changing possession often.
Midway through the first half, though, both teams began creating scoring opportunities. Cary Academy (2-8-2, 1-4-2) had a chance in the 20th minute when Grant Goettel hit a shot behind Wake Christian goalkeeper Ryan Helder. It looked as though it was in the goal, but Helder recovered quickly to save it.
Then in 25th minute, Will Glas of Wake Christian (7-7-2, 1-4-1) slipped a ball in to teammate Jeffrey Tan, who fired a shot that went just wide of the post.
Wake Christian got on the scoreboard first in the 28th minute. A shot from a corner kick was initially blocked by Cary Academy goalkeeper Kyle Lerch, but the ball didn’t make it out of the box. It was deflected back and forth multiple times before Casey Brady touched it to teammate Jacob Swartz, who helped it find the back of the net.
Despite being down at halftime, Cary Academy came out in the second half with high pressure. It took just 30 seconds for Trevor Gordon to score the equalizer off of a cross from Andrew Glosson. Cary Academy kept the pressure on as Gordon seemed to take control for his team creating multiple scoring opportunities.
“I found a lot runs in behind the defense and it started to work really well,” Gordon said.
Minutes after his first goal, Gordon received a ball out of back from defender Nathan De Ycaza. Gordon, who was just a few yards into his attacking half, dribbled wide through two Wake Christian defenders and hit a shot across his body into the side to give his team a 2-1 lead.
Despite having two unanswered goals scored on them, Wake Christian wasn’t giving up.
As the half went on, they began to return the pressure by creating multiple opportunities of their own. Glas put away the equalizer off a ball from Killian Nowrey with 18:50 left to go in regulation. Two overtime periods followed, but neither team could net a game winner.
Despite not being able to pull out a victory in the rematch, Cary Academy wasn’t too disappointed with the outcome. The Chargers were hoping to be more competitive despite trying to adjust to a constant change in personnel.
“We keep having guys get injured and so we’ve had to make adjustments,” Cary Academy coach Jeff Costa said. “We don’t make any excuses for our personnel, so we just have to play hard and see where we are.”