Wilmington’s Hoggard High was the third team to experience just how tough it has been to score against Broughton soccer this postseason.
Broughton’s defense has not allowed a single goal in the first three games of its N.C. High School Athletic Association 4A playoff run. The No. 12 Capitals (15-6-3) held South View and Leesville Road scoreless in their first two rounds and escaped No. 20 Hoggard with a 1-0 victory on Wednesday afternoon at the CASL soccer fields.
Broughton goalkeeper Clay Oxford posted seven saves in the third-round match, highlighted by two consecutive in the closing minutes of the first half.
“He’s been playing like that all year, and we don’t take him for granted.” Capitals coach Nick Wheeler said. “The expectation is that he plays like that and that’s why we’re still in it.”
Offensively, it was tough day for both teams.
Broughton and Hoggard (13-7-4) faced extremely physical defenses and were forced to work for decent looks at the goal.
The Capitals’ break came early in the first half when senior forward Ibrahim Mohamud was fouled inside the penalty box. A penalty kick ensued, and Mohamud did not disappoint, supplying the only goal of the game.
“I think it was a well-fought game,” Vikings head coach Kristin Ayscue said. “I hate that it was determined by a PK. It was a pretty evenly matched game; I wish I could’ve seen it play out the way it should have rather than on a call like that.”
For the Hoggard Vikings, there was no break, the ball failing to bounce in their favor.
Not too long after Mohamud’s penalty kick, one of Hoggard’s shots bent around the outreached arms of Oxford but clanked off of the goal post.
Later in the second half, Hoggard saw one of its headers hit the top of the post and roll out of bounds.
“I wish there was something I could say like ‘Take more shots,’ but the shots we were taking were just hitting the post. It just wasn’t our day,” Ayscue said. “This was probably the best team we’ve had in a few years. It’s hard to see it go down that way.”
Broughton will play the winner of the Apex and Laney matchup on Saturday.
“I’m glad we’re still playing,” Wheeler added. “I’m happy for the guys because they earned it.”