As the Cary Academy and Wake Christian boys soccer teams formed halftime huddles, the match’s three officials followed them off the pitch and asked a question of two athletic trainers they spotted.
“Is this a conference match?” they wondered, casting an eye toward a darkening sky.
In other words, if the score remained tied at 1-1at the end of regulation in the TISAC match, the refs were concerned darkness would fall before two overtime periods could be completed. A non-conference match, though, didn’t require OT.
But as it turned out, the Chargers’ beat Wake Christian as well as sundown with a 4-2 victory Tuesday afternoon on Cary Academy’s sprawling campus.
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Cary Academy (4-1-2, 2-1) scored first when Cohen Dworsky had a free kick and the ball was tapped into the net by his identical twin brother, Collin Dworsky.
But Wake Christian (6-4, 0-2) responded within two minutes for a 1-1 tie when Jeffrey Tan drilled a shot from 10 yards in front of the goal.
In the halftime huddle, Cary Academy coach Jeff Costa wasn’t satisfied with his team’s ability to control the ball.
“We made an adjustment in the second half,” Costa said. “We were not getting enough possessions and needed more strength in the middle.”
Initially, the new strategy didn’t work. Wake Christian benefitted from a penalty kick for a 2-1 lead as Casey Brady scored just three minutes into the second half.
Costa’s new strategy eventually took hold.
The Chargers’ game-tying goal came on a generous bounce. Collin Dworsky sent a long kick from 60 yards out toward the net. Wake Christian goalie Ryan Helder, who recorded nice saves during the match, came out of the goal to beat to prevent a header. But the ball took an unusually high bounce over the goalie’s head and rolled uncontested into the net.
Collin Dworsky fell on his back at midfield over his good fortune.
“We have some tall players,” Dworsky explained of the long pass. “I was looking to play the ball to them.”
With a 2-2 tie, Costa began shouting after each of the Chargers’ next three goals: “How do we respond?”
He was referring to the 1-0 lead in the first half that Wake Christian erased less than two minutes later.
“I’m always telling them that most goals are scored less than five minutes after another goal,” Costa said.
Cary Academy took a 3-2 lead on a Cohen Dworsky’s second goal and Max Gordon provided an insurance goal.