The Cary girls soccer team prevailed 2-1 in a tough match over Athens Drive on Friday in a matchup of rivals in the Southwest Wake Athletic Conference.
Junior Anna Ganci scored the goal that proved to be the difference for Cary (4-11, 2-11) in the 59th minute on an assist from junior Mia Ziade.
“Ganci scored a tremendous goal in the second half today to put us back on top,” said Cary coach Laura Kerrigan.
The first half was relatively quiet until a pass from Cary junior Julie Liebold snuck through the back line where sophomore Jade Boudeo tapped the ball over the Athens Drive goalkeeper in the 33rd minute to put Cary up 1-0.
Athens Drive (5-10-2, 4-9-1) equalized early in the second half with a goal by junior Shayna Mckinnon on the assist from sophomore Andrea Strohm.
Ganci scored what proved to be the game-winner 17 minutes later to give Cary the win. The win was redemption for Cary, who lost 2-0 to Athens Drive earlier in the season.
Injuries has been the story of the season for Cary as they have battled with being outmanned 10 versus 11 at one point in the season and having to play games close together due to rain delays.
“We’ve been struggling with numbers the entire season,” said Kerrigan. “To have to go down to 10 players playing against 11 in our last game was rough.”
Due to injuries to starters and only having 11 players on the initial roster, Cary had to call in backup just to participate.
“We had to bring up three JV players just to have enough numbers for us to play today,” said Kerrigan. “I really felt like it was a tremendously gutsy performance by our players. We were absolutely exhausted by the end of the game but I think they really showed a lot of heart.”
The loss brings Cary one game closer to Athens Drive in the conference standings. Both teams are currently just ahead of Apex Friendship for last in the conference.
“We didn’t play well at all,” said Athens Drive head coach Meryssa Wacholder. “We had some who worked really hard and we just underestimated them and didn’t really want to show up to work.”