Just 46 seconds into the game, the Heritage boys soccer team was up against the ropes again.
In almost the same fashion that Heritage fell behind Tuesday night to Sanderson, the Huskies again fell into an early hole on Wednesday night at home against Enloe. But this time, Heritage was able to come back and secure a 2-1 victory.
Enloe (6-7-2, 1-6-2 Cap-8) got on the board first.
Just 46 seconds into the game Harry Cooper got the ball and dribbled it into the Heritage 18-yard box, sprinting past senior goalkeeper Joe Adgate, and depositing the ball in the back of the net. That gave Enloe an early lead, but coach Drew Womble said that the rest of the half didn’t go as well.
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“I don’t think we played all that well in the first half,” Womble said. “We couldn’t keep possession, they are a feisty group. They defend the edge well, and that kind of caught us up a little bit.”
The rest of the first half went by quietly, with only 6 additional shots on goal, four by Heritage and two by Enloe. However, Heritage (13-4, 6-4 Cap-8) coach Scott Sloan said that the defense that suffocated Enloe in latter part of the half was the key to the comeback.
“The willingness to commit to actually truly defending and not giving Enloe any space at all, that was our spark,” Sloan said.
The second half picked up right where the end of the first half ended, with quality defense on both sides and minimal scoring opportunities. That is until Heritage senior Caleb Bratager tied the game up 11 minutes into the half.
Heritage’s James Simpson got the ball on the near side and passed it to Bratager who fired it passed the outstretched right arm of Enloe’s goalkeeper Emir Sevim.
Sixteen minutes later, the conference’s leading scorer put the Huskies in front.
Off of a throw-in, Ethan Palamo got control of the ball and passed it to junior Trevor Berk. Berk immediately turned and rifled a hooking shot past the right arm of Emir Sevim.
“My man was too tight, and I just turned and ripped it to the side of the net, and all of the sudden it was 2-1,” said Berk describing the game-winning goal.
The Huskies then held on for the final 12 minutes.
“We’ve been in a rut for about 2 weeks,” Sloan said. “You can expect every team to go through one of those down moments throughout the season. Hopefully after we gave up that first goal now we are on an upward trend and we can take that into our next couple of games.”
“We didn’t put our heads down when we got down 1-0, we knew we were going to win the second half, we kept working and then we finally got it,” Berk said. “We hit a little bit of a rough patch but now were back on track and we should be fine for the playoffs.”
For Enloe going forward coach Womble said he wants his team to work on finishing.
“I think we need to work on our finishing, our attack. I think that’s what lacks, so we can go from there,” he said.
Enloe next hosts Leesville Road on Oct. 17, and Heritage travels to rival Wake Forest on the same date. Both games will start at 6:30 p.m.