North soccer sustains spotless record
Published 12:00 pm Wednesday, October 5, 2022
By Brian Pitts
As we’ve said a time or two, the 2022 North Davie boys soccer team is way better than its predecessors in the last decade-plus. Once upon a time, the Wildcats had to scratch and claw to get a couple wins. Now they’re good enough to pick up lackluster wins.
The Wildcats defeated visiting Watauga 4-3 on Sept. 22. It wasn’t as close as the score. North led by two goals on two occasions, never trailed and was in the driver’s seat the whole way.
Max Rappaport had two goals. Ethan Christie and Brian Barragan had one each. The assists were delivered by Ronald Perez, Dylan Cassetta and Kellan Wiles.
“They capitalized on the opportunities they had – one of them was a PK after a handball in the box,” coach Daniel Gamble said of Watauga. “They had some talent and skill, but we dominated most of the game.”
Six days later, Christie knocked in two goals, Hunter Stephens dished out three assists and North whipped visiting Summit 6-2.
“We had 30-40 shots on goal,” Gamble said. “It could have been a lot (larger margin), but their goalie was really good.”
The other goals came from Stephens, Hector Rodriguez, R. Perez and Manny Perez. Christie and R. Perez each had an assist.
The next day at Phoenix Academy, North won by a slim margin, 2-1. As improbable as it seems, it was 1-1 at halftime, a stark contrast from the 9-1 whipping that North put on Phoenix on Aug. 30.
But Phoenix did not have the firepower to put a serious scare in the Wildcats.
“They jammed us up in the middle,” Gamble said. “They scored on a (North) mistake. Their main goal was to jam it up and keep the score low, and we just didn’t adjust well to that. We controlled 90-95 percent of the possessions, we just couldn’t do anything with it. We’ve been in Phoenix’s shoes before, jamming it up and keeping it low.”
Rodriguez scored the first goal. With it 1-1 in the second half, Stephens provided the game-winner. R. Perez and Rappaport had the assists as North raised its perfect record to 9-0. It is 4-0 in one-goal games.
Last week was a rough patch for Ellis. The Jaguars lost three games in eight days, starting with a 4-1 decision against visiting North Carolina Leadership Academy on Sept. 22.
Santiago Maganda had the goal.
“We never seemed to get things going and played most of the game on our heels defending our side of the field,” coach Susan Jones said. “Much of our defense was continuously out of position, allowing frequent opportunities for the other team to have uncontested shots on our goal. It didn’t help that we were missing a vital player, (center striker) Eric Martinez, who was out sick.”
Jones was pleased with goalie Nathan Harding.
“Nathan had a number of saves,” she said. “He was just left alone too often.”
The Jaguars lost 4-0 at Canterbury and 7-2 at Wesleyan Christian Academy as their record fell to 2-5. Maganda had both goals against Wesleyan.
Things weren’t any better for South Davie, which lost 6-1 at Phoenix Academy and 4-0 at home to NCLA. Andy Dejesus Longares assisted a goal by Ty Cozart against Phoenix. A four-game losing streak dropped the Tigers to 1-7.
Notes: In volleyball action, South Davie beat Phoenix and NCLA to run its record to 7-2. North Davie beat Summit and Phoenix, giving the Wildcats (6-4) a five-match winning streak. Ellis (6-3), though, lost at Canterbury, ending its four-match winning streak.