Green Hope is through to the Wake County Cup final in its first appearance in the annual boys soccer tournament, while Broughton got a leg up on the competition to be the team that meets the Falcons in the title game.
They were the first varsity events held on the South Garner High School stadium field.
Green Hope, No. 1 in The News & Observer’s 17-county area rankings, stayed undefeated in thrilling fashion against No. 4 Cardinal Gibbons. The Falcons, already winners against Leesville Road in Group A, defeated Gibbons 2-1 with two penalty stops by goalkeeper Jacob Kendall – the last one coming with just 46 seconds remaining.
“We can talk about the PKs, but (Kendall) was focused the whole game,” first-year Green Hope coach David Corsbie said. “When he plays with that composure the team feels more confident.”
In the first game of Group B action, No. 5 Broughton put away unranked Garner with an 8-0 victory. Apex is the other team in Group B and has yet to play.
Green Hope 2, Cardinal Gibbons 1
Kendall saw how much effort his team was giving and felt compelled to step up when he faced a first-half penalty try, which was whistled less than a minute after Matt Ostrander’s volley off a bouncing throw-in by William Dugger put the Falcons up 1-0.
The Gibbons player tried to go right, but Kendall denied it easily.
“My team had been putting their butts on the line the entire game for me, so I figured it was my moment to show them that if they have my back, I have their backs,” Kendall said.
Green Hope (4-0) went up 2-0 on a penalty by Camden Holbrook early in the second half, but Gibbons drew near on Nelson Zimmerman’s unassisted goal not long after.
Gibbons (2-1) lifted a free kick from midfield into the box and got a second penalty – called when a Green Hope player yanked down one of the Crusaders by the shirt – with 46.3 seconds to go.
The Gibbons player tried to slot the ball on the left side, but Kendall’s diving stab pushed the ball out and off the post to preserve the win. The game would have likely ended in a tie had he not. There is no overtime for Cup soccer except for the championship game.
“I like the intensity in what we did,” Gibbons coach Tim Healy said. “We’re young and we’ve got to clean some things up.”
Broughton 8, Garner 0
The Capitals (3-0-1) went up 4-0 in the first half against Garner as Abdulle Ibrahim, Donovan Nicholson and Andrew Rosetti had a goal and assist apiece.
Edson Candela-Perez added the other first-half goal and Jack Ashby the other assist.
Sam Stein added a penalty in the second half while Alexi Santos smashed in a rebound. Lucas Beeson scored on a cross from Ivy O’Brien.
Ibrahim added a goal with 18:33 to play assisted by Candela-Perez for his hat trick.
“Everybody collectively, individually played well and had connections and chemistry,” Ibrahim said.
Broughton wasn’t worried about the prospects of playing Apex (0-0) 24 hours later.
“Three out of our four games we’ve played 24 guys at least to find a mix that would work,” Broughton coach Craig Brannon said. “Tonight I think we found some that work.”
Garner (0-3) can hope for a three-way tie in Group B (if it defeats Apex and Apex defeats Broughton all three would be 1-1) but tiebreakers on goals allowed or goal differential would all but knock the Trojans out of competition.
“The good news is we won’t see the level of play we’ve seen the last three days, except we’ll play Apex next week and Holly Springs again,” Garner coach Ben Bondurant said.
Last week’s postponements due to the extreme heat made for an unusual three-game, three-day stretch for Garner.
“About three quarters of the way through the first half I said ‘Our legs are done.’ We’re not real deep and we’ve got a lot of youth,” Bondurant said. “When you take a beating like that tonight, you wonder how your young kids will respond. ... The speed of play is so fast, we’ve got to catch up to the speed of play.”
Last week: Green Hope 1, Leesville Road 0
Wednesday: Green Hope 2, Cardinal Gibbons 1
Wednesday: Broughton 8, Garner 0
Remaining Pool Play
Thursday: Apex at Broughton, 4:30 p.m.
Aug. 31: Leesville Road at Cardinal Gibbons, 6:30 p.m.
Sep. 1: Garner at Apex, 5:30 p.m.
Group A: Green Hope 2-0, Leesville Road 0-1, Cardinal Gibbons 0-1
Group B: Broughton 1-0, Apex 0-0, Garner 0-1
at Cardinal Gibbons, Sept. 24
5th-place game, 3 p.m.
3rd-place game, 5 p.m.
Championship, 7 pm.