The Wake County Cup final will have a new champion this Saturday at Cardinal Gibbons when Green Hope’s and Broughton’s boys soccer teams collide. The Caps and Falcons, both of whom lost for the first time last week, will play at 7 p.m.
It will be the first time either team has advanced to the championship.
Garner and Leesville Road play at 5 p.m. following two JV matches.
Garner and Apex were unable to play the last match of pool play, so there are no true third- or fifth-place games. Apex plays at Cardinal Gibbons on Friday at 6:30 p.m.
The Falcons (5-5, 4-0 PAC-6 4A) have been one of the hottest teams in the Triangle recently, taking down No. 1 Cardinal Gibbons by a 3-2 score on Monday. Jordan has won four in a row to lead the PAC-6 4A.
The Catamounts (8-3, 6-1 Southwest Wake 4A) are another team to watch. Panther Creek trounced Apex 7-3 on Monday and has won five in a row and seven of itslast eight.
The Pride can add its name to the list of teams on a roll. Leesville (5-5-1, 2-1 Cap-8 4A) has back-to-back 1-0 wins against Broughton and Sanderson and lost a heartbreaker to Heritage (2-1 in overtime after allowing the tying goal with seconds left in regulation).
The Spartans, long in soccer tradition, are short in experienced defenders this season. But coach Todd Worley’s club looks like a team that can compete for a conference title because of the work rate of all 10 field players.
That’s part of the Spartans’ biggest adjustment this year: getting everyone to chip in on the defensive end. Aside from a 6-2 loss to Green Hope, Sanderson (6-2-1, 2-1) hasn’t allowed more than two goals in any game.
“We’re learning to play differently,” Worley said. “We’re just really having to learn to play better defense. It’s not the back four, every player on the field has to play better. ... The good news is we have a lot of players who get after it.”
The loss of the N.C. Soccer Coaches Association player of the year, Logan Shytle, hasn’t affected the Huskies’ scoring that much. Even with the loss, Heritage (8-1, 1-1) is averaging 5.0 goals per game.
Trevor Berk has 13 while Santiago Romero and Caleb Bratager have five apiece.
“We’re balanced, this team,” Heritage coach Scott Sloan said. “Trevor is playing really well, Gabe (Mercer) is playing at a high level. We have a lot of younger guys who are now stepping up to fill that challenge.”
Raleigh Charter (8-0, 7-0) has the lead in the North Central Athletic 1A Conference after downing archrival Franklin Academy last Wednesday 1-0. Twenty-one seconds into the second half, junior midfielder Drew DiSerafino’s nifty pass through two defenders found a charging Noah Ontjes, who scored low to the right side to provide the game’s lone goal.
“Drew put in a great little pass,” said Ontjes. “And I just touched it pass the keeper.”
Colin Bronack has allowed just two goals in 640 minutes of play.
Knightdale (6-3-2, 3-0 Greater Neuse River 4A) returned all four of its defenders from a year ago, and it is showing in their conference string of shutouts. The Knights have won four in a row.
“I knew that if we could get the back four playing as a good strong line and get involved in possession we would be looking good,” coach Aaron Steele said.
Garner (3-6, 2-1) seem to have moved on to its second season. The Trojans, who lost their first four matches by a combined 21-1 score, have won two matches and lost two one-goal games in their past four.
“We’re starting to play as a team,” said Garner sophomore Lucas Quiroga. “If we play individually, we won’t get anywhere. We’ve had more time to learn how we play.”
The Lions are 10-1-1 thanks to Braden Teller, who is one of the state leaders with 33 goals and 11 assists.
The Warriors (7-1-1) open up conference play this week and are led by Jose Anguiano’s 11 goals thus far.
The Knights (12-1-1) have a trio of top scorers in the area and state with James Wells (33 goals, 15 assists), Jackson Stone (14 goals, 17 assists) and Logan Johnson (11 goals, 11 assists).