Still buzzing from a resounding win over Holly Springs 48 hours earlier, the Fuquay-Varina girls soccer team ran roughshod over Apex from the start Wednesday night en route to a 5-2 win over the Cougars.
Megan Greene’s fifth-minute goal kick-started the onslaught, and Rebekah Furr led the way with three goals and an assist.
“We’ve had some success lately,” said Fuquay coach Jeff Nelson, whose team has won three straight and four of its last five. “It’s always a challenge to get back up for the next game. We had a big win on Monday (3-0 vs. Holly Springs), so I was very proud of the girls. They did exactly what they needed to do.”
Greene opened the scoring five minutes in on a corner kick from Furr. It was a just reward for the Bengals’ all-out assault from the first whistle that featured four shots, three corner kicks and two shots cleared off the Apex line.
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Despite starting on their heels, Apex was agonizingly close to the equalizer in the 10th minute, as Katie Wight’s try from the top of the area crashed off the crossbar. That miss took on added weight moments later. Fuquay’s Furr uncorked a dipping 25-yard free kick over Apex’s three-man wall and kissed it off the crossbar for a 2-0 Fuquay lead.
In the 32nd minute, Emma Deleon sprung Furr into space behind the Apex backline. Furr was pulled down as she closed in on the Apex goal, leading to a penalty kick that she converted for a 3-0 lead.
Apex, quiet for most of the first half, came alive in the minutes before halftime. Alex Graff drew one back for the Cougars in the 37th minute after she emerged from a scramble for the ball, broke in on goal and tucked it in to cut their deficit to 3-1.
Less than a minute later, Christina Olivares drew another Fuquay penalty kick, which this time was converted by Greene.
With less than a minute remaining, Apex answered again, trimming Fuquay’s lead to 4-2. Amy Bounds sent a hopeful ball into the area that found its way to Kaitlyn Barbour, who calmly tucked it in.
“The two goals they scored, we talked over both and decided they were good goals. We didn’t mess up,” Nelson said. “They scored two good goals. We just had to shake it over and go a bit harder.”
There weren’t nearly as many offensive bursts in the second half.
Apex settled on playing long balls over Fuquay’s defense and throwing players forward, while the Bengals absorbed the pressure and looked to spring runners free on counterattacks. Furr completed her hat trick in the 57th minute when she and Kristina Sedivy teamed up on a 2-v-1. Sedivy’s initial shot hit the crossbar, but Furr’s follow-up header found the back of the net for a 5-2 lead.
The Bengals, who are third in the Southwest Wake Athletic Conference, will look to continue their torrid form with upcoming pivotal matches against Green Hope (Wednesday) and Panther Creek (Apr. 28), teams they lost to on their first trip through the league.
“If we keep playing like we are, it will take care of itself,” Furr said. “We have a hard-working team, and that’s why we’ve been successful these past few games. We have talent, too, but hard work pushes our talent forward.”