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Wilson Christian Academy made a goal in the second minute stand up and a flurry of three goals in the last six minutes of the first half triggered Greenfield School’s rout of Beddingfield in Tuesday night’s opening session of the Greenfield Showcase high school boys soccer event on the Forbes Field pitch.
Senior Gabe Barnes’ goal in the second minute kicked Wilson Christian of the North Carolina Christian School Association 2-A ranks to a 1-0 triumph against Hunt of the 3-A Big East Conference.
The three-goal flurry lifted Greenfield of the North Carolina Independent Schools Athletic Association 1-A division to an 8-2 triumph against Beddingfield of the 2-A Eastern Plains Conference.
The Chargers boosted their record to 2-1, while Greenfield emerged 3-1 in the nightcap.
The Warriors and Beddingfield were kicking off their respective seasons.
Thursday evening’s second session sends Beddingfield against Wilson Christian at 5:30 and Greenfield opposite Hunt at 7.
Greenfield officials put together the showcase after the Rotary Cup was canceled for this year.
WILSON CHRISTIAN 1, HUNT 0
Barnes netted the WCA goal after sophomore Will Hoskins split the Warriors’ defense with a through ball. No scoring the final 78 minutes was unexpected.
“I was a little surprised,” admitted Chargers head coach Don Samson. “I didn’t quite expect it. We missed opportunities to extend it, but I am really proud of the guys.”
Reviewed Hunt head coach Phillip Long: “Fitness made a little difference. But at the end of the day, it was the first couple of minutes. We were not ready to play. We showed improvement from last season but it was still a loss — really a loss of the first two minutes.”
The Warriors attacked relentlessly the second half, cranking several legitimate threats. But senior WCA goalkeeper Harrison Parker and his defensive wall of sophomore Alex Torres, Hoskins, junior Jack Ortiz and sophomore Nathan Murray responded.
“We had the majority of possessions,” Long reviewed the second half. “We were moving the ball well and had really good chances. The only thing we weren’t doing was scoring. But I was really impressed with our young talent.”
Parker posted five of his six saves in the second half. His ability to scramble and deflect away a Hunt shot with some six minutes showing was critical.
“I thought it would be out of my reach,” Parker noted, “but the thick grass got a hold of it. I was able to get another step and push it out.”
Samson credited Parker for “anchoring us from back.”
“We expect that from him,” Samson continued. “He thrives on that. He controls a lot of play in back before it develops. But when they did have chances, he stood up tall and kept the ball out.”
Parker was delighted to note Wilson Christian defeated Hunt for just the second time.
“I wouldn’t want it happen with anybody else other than this team,” he said. “I love my group and how they played.”
He indicated the Chargers failed to match their first-half aggression. Threats were scarce after Barnes was unable to finish a breakaway some five minutes into the second half. Junior Ethan Mitchell generated an excellent opportunity in the closing minutes.
“The conditioning is not where it needs to be,” Parker explained. “The last 20 minutes, we started playing on defense to make sure we kept the score like it was.”
GREENFIELD 8, BEDDINGFIELD 2
The match was scoreless until junior Jememy Alvarez nailed a penalty kick with 25:21 showing in the first half.
In the flurry, Alvarez looped in a shot from some 40 yards out; junior William Powell finished junior Sebastian Partida’s corner kick at the right corner of the net; and senior Zeke Ferrell converted an assist from 6-foot-3 senior Nick Sessoms.
Adding second-half goals were Alvarez with a pair, Ferrell with his second and junior William Smith. Alvarez wound up with four goals.
Junior Greenfield goalkeeper Frankie Peele flirted with a shutout until Rogelio Ortiz-Flores converted a steal into a Bruins’ goal with some 12 minutes remaining. Senior Noe Mendoza netted the second goal.
“The first half, we played pretty well,” Greenfield head coach Eric Nguyen commented. “But I really liked the energy we came out with the second half. Our off-ball movement and communication was good. It was a good game to build off.”
Beddingfield head coach Mark Aldrich sent as many as six first-year players on the pitch at times and four of the more established players didn’t see action because of missing practice.
“We’ll take our lumps in this one,” Aldrich remarked. “We’re exhausted. But we’ll let them see what happens when they miss practice.”