Raleigh Charter’s boys soccer team forced Wallace-Rose Hill to work 106 minutes before the Bulldogs earned a return trip to the N.C. High School Athletic Association 1A state finals.
Wallace-Rose Hill won 2-1 on a golden goal when Ricardo Sierra ended the match 14 seconds into the second five-minute overtime period Tuesday on the Bulldogs’ campus. It was the second straight year Raleigh Charter (22-5-1) fell to the Bulldogs (25-1) in the East Regional final.
Wallace-Rose Hill has now won 20 straight matches as it prepares to defend its title against East Surry on Saturday at a time to be announced at North Carolina State.
The teams were tied 1-1 at the end of regulation time after Wallace-Rose Hill’s Javier Maldonado opened the scoring in the match’s first seven minutes. Raleigh Charter’s Joey Diserafino finally tied the match with 27 minutes remaining in the second half.
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That was followed by two scoreless 10-minute overtime periods. The first five minute golden goal period elapsed without a score, but Sierra was alone with a rebounded shot on the right side just 14 seconds into the second five-minute session when he placed a shot into the upper left corner of the net.
The goal spoiled what had been an otherwise spectacular night for Raleigh Charter sophomore goalie Colin Bronack. The Phoenix were fortunate to only be trailing 1-0 at halftime as Bronack left his feet for a couple of diving saves among five first-half saves.
“They came out of the gate strong against us,” Branock said. “They definitely put it on us. But our defense stepped up. Our back four really kept us in it the rest of the first half and the second half.”
Raleigh Charter tied the game when junior Tyler Foland won a physical tussle with a Wallace-Rose Hill for a loose ball in the right corner. Only moments earlier the Bulldogs player had been called for a yellow card in what turned into a physical second half.
Foland controlled the ball out of the corner and directed a cross that senior Joey Diserafino converted for a 1-1 tie with 27 minutes in left in regulation.
“Raleigh Charter made it tough on us,” Wallace-Rose Hill coach Mike Graybar. “No. 12 (Foland) and No. 5 (Diserafino) were amazing and Griffin Miller did an amazing job in the middle.”