This week’s soccer notes:
Raleigh Christian (10-1, 9-1) defeated crosstown rival Friendship Christian 3-1 on Thursday and scored just 36 seconds into the match. Possession has been one of the Eagles’ strong points.
Ezequiel Torres and Jacob Camaya scored back-to-back goals within twenty-five seconds of each other early in the second half to seal the victory.
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“I wanted them to come out strong and work the ball around early,” said Eagles coach Dan Cavenaugh. “Ball movement and moving without the ball have been our focus. We did a good job of that tonight.”
Friendship Christian (6-8, 6-5), the defending N.C. Christian School Association 2A champions, are trying to iron some things out after having to replace 10 starters from a year ago.
Sophomore Garrett Huskey has nine goals and six assists and senior Riley Smith has nine goals and three assists.
“We are having a hard time playing a consistent eighty minutes of soccer,” said Friendship Christian coach Ric Nelson. “In both the first and second half, small mental letdowns cost us those early and quick goals.”
In a 5-0 win over South Johnston last Wednesday night, the Pirates (9-3-2, 3-0 Two Rivers 3A) owned the middle of the field thanks to the play of attacking midfielder Dillon Parker and holding mids, Jacob Meierer and Tyler Mills.
Parker had a goal and two assists, Alexis Avila added a pair of goals, and the ever unselfish Meierer scored from the penalty spot to lead the way for Corinth Holders.
“I felt we possessed the ball very well; that’s our goal,” Corinth Holders coach Brent Walston said. “We try to keep a defensive mindset and I felt Jacob Meierer and Tyler Mills did a good job at holding and generating and creating.”
The Pirates were scheduled to play defending conference champ Cleveland, but that game has been postponed.
Goalies Austin Shuping and Aidan McCormick helped post a shutout – Shuping played the first half and McCormick the second – to keep the Tigers atop the Big 8 3A last Wednesday, defeating Northwood 3-0. Chapel Hill’s back line of senior Collin Jordan, senior Brendan Holly, senior Parker Hill and junior Richard Vaca made it tough to get off a clean shot.
Chapel Hill (12-1, 5-0) also has a weapon on its quick free kick.
“We like to play quick on free quicks,” Oliver Reuland said. “He looked up and saw no one was marking me. He knew I was going to go towards near post and played it there.”
Northwood (4-6-2, 3-4-1) looked like much better than a typical fourth-place team. Chargers senior Eric Paralta got free with the ball from the right side of the goal, but the shot ricocheted left to right, but a wall was in place by then. Northwood junior Thomas Russell’s shot slid wide of the right post.
“Overall I was pleased,” Northwood coach Bret Pedigo said. “I felt we matched them really well. We had opportunities in the half and a couple in the second half. But their set pieces were better.”
The Phoenix (11-0, 11-0 North Central Athletic 1A) stayed undefeated with a 5-1 win against Research Triangle last Wednesday. It was Raleigh Charter’s unselfishness that got the job done.
“We’re an experienced team … but everyone has been playing the game and we have the same mentality,” said midfielder Noah Ontjes.
Research Triangle (11-4, 9-2 North Central Athletic 1A) has had improved defensive play lately, and goalkeeper Chandler Frye stole the show against Raleigh Charter.
“Our defensive play had a more stout back and last time we let them take it to us,” Research Triangle coach Jay Liotta said. “Overall, I thought our defense did a pretty good job. Raleigh Charter is at the top of our conference and we know the level of play they bring is high.”
Correspondents Eric Puskar, Tom Shanahan, Ian Pierno and Michael Held contributed.