On Friday, first-year Middle Creek boys lacrosse coach Nick Holota made his first trip back to Holly Springs, where he formerly was an assistant under Doug Greenberg and still teaches.
Holota’s Mustangs picked up a dramatic 7-6 comeback win.
“It was great to come back and get the win against his former school,” said Middle Creek long stick midfielder A.J. King. “It’s been a fun rivalry and it was good to get the win.”
The Mustangs struggled early on, allowing the Golden Hawks to jump out to a 3-0 lead, but closed out strong as Jake Caputo, Charlie Doetzer (two) and Jared Medwar all scored unassisted goals in the final 3:23 of the period.
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“We started off fired up and we capitalized on the things we practiced,” said Holly Springs midfielder Cameron Roberts.
“We’re going to keep working on our game and get better everyday,” Hawks long-stick midfielder Tommy Farlow added.
After a scoreless second quarter highlighted by strong play between the pipes by each team’s keeper – Middle Creek’s Jonathan Kelley finished with 11 saves on the night and Holly Springs’ Sean Jesrani had 10 – Davis Ferguson opened up the third quarter with time-and-room rip that knotted things up at four-all.
Owen Caputo led the Mustang retaliation, notching an assist and goal in a 90-second span.
After Davis Ferguson and Middle Creek’s Jared Medwar swapped extra-man-on goals, the Mustangs held a 7-5 lead for the majority of the fourth quarter.
Holly Springs’ Brendan Ferguson scored the first two goals of the game and completed his hat-trick with a fastbreak goal with 12 seconds to go that narrowed the deficit to one.
Nathan Garland’s shot at the buzzer went high as Middle Creek celebrated its fifth consecutive win against its Southwest Wake Athletic Conference rival.
“We tried our best and pushed them out,” Kelley said.
Owen Caputo’s goal with 4:29 to go in the third quarter gave Middle Creek its only multi-goal lead of the night.
They said it
Middle Creek’s goal is clear: to win its third consecutive SWAC championship. However, King says they’re focusing on each individual step in the road ahead.
“You got to take it one game at a behind, you can’t think ahead to any other teams because every team is good as the best team. This is one of the best conferences in North Carolina,” Kind said.
Three to know
Davis Ferguson, Holly Springs: The senior midfielder converted two extra-man opportunities off of passes from Justin Boone.
A.J. King, Middle Creek: King wreaked havoc in Holly Springs’ transition game all night long.
Graham Schwartz, Middle Creek: In a game where possession was crucial, Schwartz led the way as the Mustangs won 62.5 percent of their faceoffs.
By the numbers
5: Extra-man-on goals scored by both teams (Middle Creek: 2-for-6, Holly Springs: 3-for-4).
6: Goals scored in the final 36:49 after seven were scored in the first 11:11.