Wrap it up; they’ll take it

Barnes strikes for both goals in WCA’s 2-0 shortened win over Wilson Prep

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The Wilson Christian Academy varsity boys soccer team completed a week of quickly-earned wins with an abbreviated 2-0 triumph against visiting Wilson Preparatory Academy on Friday night.

The Chargers owned the two-goal lead at halftime or after 40 minutes. Reaching intermission deemed the match official.

Lightning had already started flickering but the teams played into the break. Officials waited some 20 minutes and, when the dark clouds and lightning lingered, ended the night’s activities on the WCA pitch.

The city rivals were meeting for the first time in the sport of boys soccer and the Chargers hiked their record to 2-3-2. Earlier in the week, WCA needed just 39 minutes to notch its first 2018 win by a 9-0 margin.

The Tigers suffered their first loss in three outings.

Junior Gabe Barnes netted both goals in the opening 10 minutes and the Chargers finished, according to their statistics, with a 13-1 margin in shots.

“I hated it ended early,”commented WCA head coach Don Samson. “It was really good competition. They were athletic; we prepared for that type of team and they brought it to us.

“Our movement with the ball was really good; we had a lot of really good chances. I wish I could have seen what would have happened in the second half. But it was a good game both ways.”

Disappointed Tigers head coach Terry Byrd credited the defensive work of junior Chargers goalkeeper Harrison Parker.

“I have seen them play,” Byrd expressed, “and there’s no doubt we can do something against them in the rebound match at our place. It could be a different story.

“We gave up those two early goals, but we found our rhythm, were passing the ball and running to each other. In the last 10-15 minutes, I had started to see our athleticism and we had found a rhythm. I think it will be pretty tight if we continue to play the way we were at the end. We’re young and have got room to grow.”

Wilson Christian knocked in its goals on a pair of set pieces in the 18-yard box.

In the sixth minute, senior Zach Hunt slid the ball to Barnes, who, on the run, drilled in his first goal. In the ninth minute, senior Jackson Hoskins and Barnes worked a similar play, with Barnes again finishing. The goals were Nos. 2 and 3 for Barnes this season.

“We had good ball movement all around and we were all communicating well,” Barnes noted. “Whenever we’re communicating, it definitely makes us look up and see the field.”

The Chargers continued to work WPA freshman goalkeeper Cameron Bryant with opportunities generated by Barnes, Hunter, Hoskins, sophomore Ethan Mitchell and sophomore Jack Ortiz.

The athletic and physical Tigers’ threats came on a combo effort from senior Rodney Wimberly and sophomore Devyn Bullock and a strong-footed shot from senior captain Luis Herrera.

“Better than losing,” WCA’s Barnes described the 40-minute outcome. “It was good to get another win, especially at home on a Friday night. They were not a bad team; they were very athletic.”

Obviously, the Tigers wanted to “play the whole thing,” but Byrd gazed into the lightning-laced dark clouds and said: “They are all around us; they did the right thing.”