Knights clip Thales in OT, will play for showcase title

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Despite dominating play in the first half, the Greenfield School varsity boys soccer team witnessed Thales Academy of Apex find an equalizer in the second half before senior Jackson Stone finished a pass from eighth grader Matt Kirby in overtime to lift the Knights to a 2-1 victory in the Dr. Robert T. Stone Memorial Showcase, or 36th annual Greenfield Cup, on Forbes Field.

Greenfield, with its second win in as many days, will now face Cary Christian for the tournament title at 1 p.m. Saturday. Cary Christian also enters 2-0 after defeating Thales Academy and Freedom Christian on consecutive days.

In the opening half, the 1-A Knights of the split 1-A/2-A Coastal Plain Independents Conference outshot Thales 15-2. In that span, Greenfield hit iron on six occasions, four of those striking the crossbar.

Before halftime, Greenfield did make the aggression pay off. Stone played quickly to sophomore William Smith, who slid a through ball to junior Zeke Ferrell for the finish. Ferrell tucked it away past the Thales keeper and into the net.

A second-half giveaway from the Knights allowed Thales to equalize. But with matches in the regular season requiring extra time beginning with the 2018 season, Greenfield found the game winner when Stone put it away off Kirby’s assist.

“We learned a lot about ourselves tonight,” Greenfield head coach Eric Nguyen said. “I could not be more proud of our fight to close the game.”

The Titans, members of the Carolina Athletic Association for Schools of Choice banner in the Capital City Conference, fell to 0-2 and takes on Fayetteville Freedom Christian in Saturday’s first match.