Apex only introduced 10 of 11 starters before facing Cary, but the missing name showed up plenty in the box score.
Senior midfielder Patrick Stingl recorded a hat trick to lead Apex to a 6-1 win over the Imps in a Southwest Wake Athletic Conference game Wednesday night at Cougar Stadium.
The hat trick was sweet, but Stingl is just happy to be playing his first year of varsity after two years away from the game at the high school level. He made Apex’s JV team as a freshman but only competed in club soccer the past two years.
“My head wasn’t where it should have been at my sophomore and junior years, but I really brought the intensity my senior year,” Stingl said. “It’s my last year and I wanted to be special. It was very important to me.”
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Stingl scored Apex’s second first-half goal with 17:35 left for a 2-0 halftime lead. His other goals were with 24:32 and 5:23 left in the second half.
In the game’s first five scoreless minutes, an Apex defender cleared a shot back to senior goalie Corey Vodicka. He’s an aggressive goalie that makes nice plays coming out of the net, but on this play he kicked the spinning ball instead of stopping it. The ball spun off his shin backward over his head, but he was spared an own goal when the ball trickled to the right of the net.
Apex woke up and dominated action the rest of the way, including Vodicka recording a nice save from close range in the second half. On hard shot that was high but on line to find the net, Vodicka tracked the ball, reached up and tipped it over the cross bar.
They said it
Apex senior Connor Carr: “A little of both,” he said when asked what hurt more – his shot that hit the crossbar and bounced away or the pain of colliding with the Cary goalie on the shot that forced him to leave the match.
Three who mattered
Cary’s Jake Powell: The senior scored the Imps’ only goal on a penalty kick. At the time, it trimmed Apex’s lead to 3-1 with 17:23 left in the match.
Apex’s Wrigley Ferguson: The backup junior forward scored two second half goals as Cougars coach Kevin Todd emptied his bench.
Apex’s Will Tomlinson: The senior midfielder gave Apex a 1-0 lead and set up Stingl’s second goal. Cary goalie Oscar Islas made a nice save on Tomlinson’s hard shot, but when the ball bounded away Stingl was positioned for the tap-in.
By the numbers
6-0-1: Apex’s overall record with a 2-0 conference mark.
2-5-0: Cary’s overall record with a 0-2 conference mark.
Cary coach Mike Dunphy wasn’t happy with his players when they expressed frustration and let up after failed play. As Dunpy patrolled the sidelines, he kept teaching and encouraging them on the importance of forgetting the play and staying after the ball.