Sessoms, Fusion get big soccer win

Published 9:33 am Wednesday, June 1, 2022

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By Brian Pitts

Enterprise Record

In the second round of the U.S. Open Cup, Colton Sessoms and his NC Fusion (U-23s) soccer team did the unthinkable. They won 4-2 over a professional team, Charlotte Independence.

The tournament consisted of amateur teams like the Fusion, but most were professional.

“It obviously doesn’t happen very often,” Fusion coach Chris Williams said. “They’re getting paid to play, so yeah, it’s an extremely rare thing. It was a huge achievement from the players. If they play 50 games in a season, it might happen once.”

Sessoms, 18, is a Davie senior. After graduating on June 11, he will prepare for his freshman year at UNC Greensboro, where he has earned a soccer scholarship after being recruited by several schools.

The upset of Charlotte Independence is a lifetime memory for Sessoms and his teammates.

“It didn’t feel real,” Sessoms said. “This memory will never disappear. I was getting a lot of texts and some of my buddies who stayed up to watch came up to me at school the next day. It just feels amazing to be a part of this.”

Sessoms appeared in all three games in the Open Cup. NC Fusion opened with back-to-back wins over South Carolina United and Charlotte Independence. Then it lost 1-0 to the Richmond Kickers, who scored with two minutes left in extra time after regulation ended 0-0.

In the historic win over Charlotte Independence, Sessoms, a striker, cemented the outcome by scoring the game’s final goal.

Williams said: “It was late in the game. We were leading 3-2 and they were pushing players forward. We knew we’d get another chance, and that chance fell to Colton. He was one-on-one with the goalkeeper. I initially thought he may take it back, but he didn’t. The keeper came out and Colton finished it. Any professional player would be very proud of that goal in terms of the way he took it. It was an excellent finish.”

Sessoms: “That was the biggest game I ever played in. I just tried to focus on my first touch. I just wanted to come off the bench and make as big an impact as I could.”

Sessoms, who never suited up for Davie’s soccer team, will finish up the spring season playing for U19 National ECNL. He will join the U-23s for the summer as they compete in the USL 2 League. Then the gifted Davie County player will begin his career on the Division-I level.

“We love Colton,” Williams said. “I don’t say this often, but he’s a naturally gifted player – the way he moves. He’s laidback in his approach. Nothing really fazes him. We’re very proud of him.”