The Wakefield and Wake Forest boys soccer teams may be two of the Triangle’s most improved teams. That, or Green Hope’s talented but inexperienced squad still needs time to come together.
Wakefield played Green Hope to a 2-2 tie on Wednesday just two days after Wake Forest also managed a 2-2 tie with the state-power Falcons.
Lightning halted the Wakefield match with 16:02 to play. After a delay, the coaches agreed to a complete game.
Green Hope (0-0-2) is the Southwest Wake Athletic Conference defending champion, while Cap-8 members Wakefield (0-0-1) and Wake Forest last year finished seventh and eighth in their conference, respectively.
“We just need to finish,” first-year Green Hope coach Caleb Norkus said. “We’re creating opportunities, but we’re not finishing. We lost a lot of seniors and have a lot of juniors this year, but we have talent. We just have to work on the right combinations.”
The first half was scoreless until Wakefield took advantage of a Green Hope defensive lapse with 50 seconds remaining in the half.
The Falcons cleared a shot backward, but the ball bounced sharply off the defender’s head toward the Falcons’ goal that left Wakefield junior Marcus Shenker-Tauris was alone on the right. He drilled a shot that Green Hope junior goalie Marcus Zlotnik blocked, but the ball bounced directly to Wakefield senior Piero Oloegui for a tap-in goal and sudden 1-0 halftime lead.
They said it
Wakefield coach C.J. Komons: “We have a lot of seniors, but weren’t not veterans. I’m happy with the way we’re playing, but I’m never satisfied. We are playing smart and starting to do the little things.”
Three who mattered
Sheen Montezari, Wakefield: He took a right-to-left cross from 35 yards out and deftly controlled the ball for a one-on-one with the goalie. He faked left and scored into the right corner for a 2-1 lead with 30 minutes to play.
Taha Mirmozaffari, Wakefield: The senior goalie recorded spectacular saves, including a flurry in the first 20 minutes. With 23 minutes to play in regulation, he blocked one shot with his hands in front of his chest, fell to the ground and blocked the second shot from his knees.
Connor Munz, Green Hope: The junior salvaged a tie with 19 minutes remaining -- three minutes until play was halted -- on an assist from junior Davis Linscott.
By the numbers
2: Green Hope junior William Dugger scored his second goal in two games, both on headers. Junior Jacob Sciandre floated a 40-yard free kick that Dugger converted.
Wakefield defender Zach Nolan doubled up as a goalie with to preserve Mirmozaffari’s first half shutout.
When Mirmozaffari came out of the net to make a save on Green Hope’s left side, the ball ricocheted to the middle. Green Hope appeared to have an uncontested shot until Nolan slid in front of the net and kicked away with his shin a dead-on shot from the middle.