During a weather delay, East Wake coach Jon Hasbrouck offered a bit of soccer wisdom when he crossed paths with Garner midfielder Lauryl Fright near the concession stand at Johnny Sasser Stadium.
“Hey, you guys really don’t have to score any more goals on us,” Hasbrouck jokingly said to Fright, who wasn’t quite sure how to respond to the opposing coach’s suggestion.
As it turned out, the Trojans wouldn’t find the back of the net again, but that was only due to Mother Nature’s untimely intervention.
Visiting Garner held a 3-0 advantage just over 11 minutes into the second half when lightning struck near Sasser Stadium, causing a delay that eventually turned into a cancellation after a 30-minute wait. But even though the contest wasn’t finished, it was deemed an official match, with the Trojans earning the key Greater Neuse River Conference victory.
The young Trojans, who boast only two seniors, are part of a three-way logjam for third place in the GNRC with a 4-2 mark. Garner is 5-4-1 overall, which the much-improved Warriors are 6-6-1 and 1-5 under Hasbrouck, who has returned to the sideline for the East Wake girls this spring after a five-year hiatus.
“The big thing was that we haven’t been together for the last week because of spring break,” said Garner second-year head coach Jennifer Enyeart. “The first few minutes, we wanted to kick the ball around and just get used to playing with each other again. Overall, I was very happy.”
Balanced scoring has been one of the most positive intangibles for Garner this season, and that trend would continue Monday as Morgan Thomas, Kasey Adams and Fright delivered goals.
The Trojans led 2-0 at halftime before Fright finished things off with the final tally, which came just moments before the match was called.
While Garner is in the thick of the GNRC race, the Warriors are in seventh-place in the eight-team league – but Hasbrouck hasn’t written off his club’s postseason chances.
Instead, Hasbrouck continues to channel the success his East Wake boys club experienced last fall, when the Warriors were in the middle of the pack in the conference at the midway point before catching fire in the closing weeks.
East Wake rallied in miraculous fashion to win the GNRC championship before making a stunning surge into the third round of the N.C. High School Athletic Association 4A State Playoffs.
“I think what happened last fall with our boys shows us that anything can happen,” Hasbrouck said. “We still have eight games left, so there is time for us to make a move.”