Cary poured on the second-half goals to take down Fayetteville’s Pine Forest High on the road in the second round of the N.C. High School Athletic Association 4A boys soccer playoffs.
After making the playoffs for the first time since 2011, the Imps are heading to the third round for the first time since 2005.
Quinn Dunphy, coach Mike Dunphy’s son, was around that team and an occasional ball boy.
“That team was obviously very good – Zack Schilawski, all those guys, being around them – and now to actually be here in the third round, in their footsteps, it’s a really special feeling for me and something that’s been driving me the whole time,” Quinn Dunphy said.
Dunphy, Lucky Tomasello, Bilal Nachet (twice) and Carlos Perez scored the goals for Cary (14-8-3) against the Trojans (14-5-4). Up next is a Thursday night trip to New Hanover (18-3-1), the 2-seed from the East.
“We lost two games to Lee County early on which, looking back at the season, that may have been one of the best things to happen to us,” coach Dunphy said. “We learned that and they’ve responded because they learned as swiftly as we can play well, it go bad just as fast.”
Cary, the 11-seed from the Mideast, turned the corner in its last 10 games, going 7-2-1 including two playoff wins. Dating back 15 games, Cary is 9-4-2.
“I think when we won at Apex (to start the 7-2-1 run), personally it was the first time I beat Apex playing high school soccer, I felt that the team really picked itself up and that we started beliveing in ourselves and believing we could make a run at this,” Quinn Dunphy said.