Bruins, WCA battle to 4th draw of Cup

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The string of draw outcomes in the 2018 Rotary Cup high school varsity boys soccer tournament reached a record four in the delayed opening match of Saturday’s third — and final — session on the No. 2 pitch at J. Burt Gillette Athletic Complex.

After a thunderstorm delayed the start approximately an hour, Beddingfield, of the North Carolina High School Athletic Association 2-A Eastern Plains Conference, and Wilson Christian Academy, of the North Carolina Christian School Association 2-A ranks, battled to a 3-3 standoff.

After Fike posted a 7-2 win against Wilson Christian in Tuesday’s opening match, the next four outcomes ended in ties. Then, in Saturday night’s finale, Fike edged Greenfield School, 2-1.

Both the Bruins and Wilson Christian were kicking off their seasons. Beddingfield emerged with a pair of ties, while the Chargers bounced back from their opening loss with two ties.

“The tournament was excellent with great competition,” expressed WCA head coach Don Samson. “We always love playing in it. These three matches and the ones we have coming up with Greenfield and Wayne Country Day will be the toughest we play all season. To start off the season like this sets the pace for how well we’re going to have to play.”

Wilson Christian salvaged the stalemate with approximately three minutes remaining. Sophomore Ethan Mitchell lofted a corner kick; the soccer ball was momentarily loose and junior Gabe Barnes was on the spot to knock it past Beddingfield keeper Josiah Parker and into the net.

With the score knotted 2-2 at halftime, the Bruins seized a 3-2 lead on freshman Apolinar Fuentes’ second goal. Samson credited Fuentes with a great finish. Fuentes drilled in four of Beddingfield’s five goals in two matches.

WCA senior Zach Hunter opened the scoring with slightly over seven minutes elapsed, chipping in a pass from Mitchell.

Fuentes answered for Beddingfield midway the first half, stepping around a Chargers defender near the goal and tapping in a shot.

About three minutes later, the Chargers grabbed a 2-1 margin when the Bruins keeper could not corral Mitchell’s deep free kick.

But with less than 16 minutes left before intermission, Beddingfield sophomore Rogelia Ortiz-Flores created a 2-2 standoff with a shot that junior WCA keeper Harrison Parker could not smother.

The score remained 2-2 because the Bruins could not convert a free kick from close range and shots from the Chargers’ Hunter and Barnes were repelled.

“Beddingfield brought a ton of pressure and a lot of speed,” Samson assessed, “and that forced our guys to be a little more uncomfortable. If we had made some corrections, it might have been a different game. But I was very impressed with our guys’ fight.”

But draws were the most frequent destination in 2018.