The Wake Christian boys soccer team came into Tuesday’s match against Ravenscroft looking for its first TISAC win, and for one half there was hope.
The Bulldogs went into the break ahead after Nate Brady’s goal gave them the lead. However the Ravens came out much more determined in the second half. Goals from Emmanuel Petrov and John Daniel Sawyerr in the 50th and 51st minutes flipped the momentum of the game.
Those two plays turned the tide for the Ravens to lift them to the 4-2 victory.
The Ravens (6-7-1, 2-2) did not play well in the first half, allowing the Bulldogs several scoring opportunities and creating few for themselves.
“We weren’t playing our style,” said coach Alix Charles. “We weren’t playing our game. We needed to start passing the ball, do what we know how. Once they started to do that, the goals came in.”
After starting out conference play with just two goals in two losses, Ravenscroft has started to click on offense. It scored twice in a win over Cary Academy last week, and the four goals were the most Ravenscroft had scored in nearly two weeks.
A mark of a good team is its ability to put away other teams after grabbing the lead, and that’s just what the Ravens did Tuesday. Thompson Schollaert scored to make the score 3-1, and after Wake Christian made it 3-2, Ravenscroft’s Jake Schneider sealed the win for good by scoring in the 75th minute.
The Bulldogs (9-4, 0-4) came into the game looking for the program’s first win over Ravenscroft. They looked good halfway through the game, but ultimately, Ravenscroft’s physicality and endurance wore them down.
Coach Wayne Helder said the game really turned after Ravenscroft scored back-to-back goals in a matter of seconds.
“The first goal Ravenscroft scored was unfortunate and it certainly turned the tide,” Helder said. “We dropped our heads a little bit after that and gave up the second one. We were chasing the game from there.”
Though Wake Christian still has work to do to start competing and eventually defeating Ravenscroft, there were good signs from this game: the Bulldogs led at halftime and showed some fight after falling behind 3-1.
“(Ravenscroft’s) been a solid side the last few years and one of the better teams in the state of North Carolina,” Helder said. “We’ve certainly closed the gap and made it more competitive matches, and we need to put ourselves in the position to win some of those matches in the future.”
39th minute: After Wake Christian hit the post twice in the first half, Nate Brady finally broke through with a goal (WCA leads 1-0).
Halftime: Wake Christian 1, Ravenscroft 0
50th minute: Ravenscroft’s Emmanuel Petrov kicked a high shot in the box that took a deflection and landed in the back of the net (RAV ties 1-all).
51st minute: Just 31 seconds later, Ravenscroft took advantage of the momentum and added a second goal. After Wake Christian’s Jack Curtis couldn’t hold onto a shot, Ravenscroft’s John Daniel Sawyerr tapped the ball in (RAV leads 2-1).
69th minute: A long, hard low cross from Ravenscroft’s Cole Malone went right past the outstretched, diving arms of Curtis and found Schollaert, who scored easily (RAV leads 3-1).
70th minute: Wake Christian got a little hope when a Ravens handball led to a penalty shot. Nate Brady stepped up and scored (WCA trails 3-2).
75th minute: A chaotic scene in front of the goal led to Jake Schneider scoring the fourth and final Ravens goal of the night to seal the win (RAV wins 4-2).
THEY SAID IT
“(Wake Christian’s) a good team,” Charles said. “They were able to come back and pressure us a little bit. Who knows? If we didn’t get that second goal quickly they may have been able to win the game.”