Millbrook boys soccer
Millbrook senior Connor Karr (left) jumps in front of Broughton's Kenan Ender to head a ball during Tuesday's Cap-7 Conference tournament semifinals match. The Capitals pulled out a 1-0 win, advancing to the tournament's championship game against Sanderson Thursday night.
Broughton bounces Millbrook from Cap-7 tournament
According to Millbrook soccer coach Matt Edwards, Tuesday's 1-0 defeat to Broughton in the Cap-7 Conference tournament semifinals had a common — yet unfortunate — familiarity to it.
With just over 15 minutes remaining in regulation, and deadlocked at 0-0, the Wildcats were on the attack in Broughton's defensive third.
But the Capitals maintained to halt the Millbrook possession, and force the action upfield, racing past the Wildcats' retreating defenders.
Moments later Broughton's Lassiter Tollison slipped a kick past Millbrook keeper Spencer LaCivita for the would-be game-winner, lifting the Capitals to the tournament championship game. (Broughton will face Sanderson in the finals at Leesville Road Thursday at 6:30 p.m.)
"That's kind of the story of our season right now," Edwards said. "We have been very vulnerable to the counter-attack of really good teams.
"If you look at how we gave up goals against Wakefield, Sanderson and Leesville, it's typically, counter-attack goals. We're pounding away, but we can't get one in, or we don't take a shot, and they immediately have even numbers the other way."
Click here for highlights of the Broughton/Millbrook semifinals match.
The Wildcats put the pressure on Broughton in the closing 14 minutes, but it was too little, too late.
Following the contest, Edwards reasoned his squad needs to be more aggressive creating shots and taking advantage of offensive opportunities.
Sometimes, the coach pointed out, the Wildcats just don't put the ball on-goal when the shot is there.
"I think we will have to figure out that we can't get close and not take a chance," he said. "We need more shots to score."
Although the loss to Broughton was disappointing, the bright side is the Wildcats' season still goes on, the coach explained.
"Luckily for us, we get to play some more.The last four games of the season, we put ourselves in a position to keep playing," Edwards said, alluding to Millbrook winning three of its last four regular-season match-ups.
Having defeated Wakefield in the tournament's first round, and hanging tough with Broughton for a third time this season, the Wildcats should take plenty of momentum heading into its first-round state playoff match next week.
According to the NCHSAA postseason brackets, Millbrook will play the No. 2 seed from the PAC-6 Conference, which is likely be Durham Riverside.
Edwards recalled getting the better of the Pirates in last year's state playoffs, but acknowledged that was a different season with different circumstances.
"We're different, they're different and we're going there instead of playing at home," the coach said.