Grace Christian earned its biggest win of the boys soccer season thus far by handing Cary Christian its first loss on Thursday.
A couple of pinpoint corner kicks and a scrum in the box lifted the Eagles to a 4-2 win against the host Knights (6-1-2, 2-1).
Grace Christian’s go-ahead goal came in the 48th minute as Blake Ballance’s corner kick met Doug Bosco’s head perfectly in the box. It was the second time the Eagles (7-1, 1-0) had scored on such an instance.
Ballance’s corner kick in the 8th minute did the same thing except with Austin Lang as the recipient.
“They just won the battle tonight. Maybe we’ll get them next time,” Cary Christian coach Brian Twidt said. “They just got to the ball before us and they wanted it more than we did.”
They said it
“I think we’re a very good team. How good? I don’t know,” Grace coach Roman Pibl said.
Cary Christian took a brief lead in the 25th minute when Philip Posson’s shot from almost 30 yards out hit the grass and spun counter-clockwise away from the Grace goalkeeper and into the net.
3 who mattered
Austin Lang, Grace Christian: The Triangle’s leading scorer with 20 goals was trouble for the Knights’ back line. Lang sealed the game with a long strike in the 78th and also assisted to Jake Irvin in the 29th minute.
“We want to win conference and get to (state playoffs) and have a home (first-round) game,” Lang said.
Blake Ballance, Grace Christian: His two corner kicks were just part of his contributions. He distributed the ball well from the back and dropped back at times to help defend.
Cade Beasley, Cary Christian: Had some nifty moves and scored the first Knights goal on a breakaway.
Feeling the impact
The Eastern Plains Independent Conference is one of the toughest 2A leagues in the N.C. Independent Schools Athletic Association. The win by the Eagles gives them the early leg up on the competition.
St. David’s won the state title last year but already this season Cary Christian rallied from a 3-1 deficit to defeat the Warriors 4-3 in overtime.
Grace Christian Sanford, last year’s EPIC champ, moved back down to 1A this season.