Wakefield senior Ryan Metts (10) was one of five area soccer players named to the North Carolina Soccer Coaches Association's All-State team.
Five area soccer players named
to All-State team
Wakefield senior Ryan Metts
earns All-South honors
In a conference as deep and talented as the Cap-7 was in soccer this past fall, it's only fitting the league has cleaned up with postseason awards.
Five area players — Leesville Road's Bo Burns, Millbrook's Spencer LaCivita, Wakefield's Ryan Metts and Sanderson's Glenn Scott and JP Rafferty — were all named to the North Carolina Soccer Coaches Association's All-State team last month.
For Burns and Scott, this is their first year honored. But the process has become seemingly routine for Metts and LaCivita, who are repeat selections, and Rafferty, who has been recognized during each of the past three seasons. (LaCivita, the lone junior, has a chance to make it a three-peat next year.)
For his work on the pitch this fall, Sanderson senior Glenn Scott was named to the Cap-7 Conference All-Conference team.
All-Conference soccer selections
The Cap-7 Conference, arguably North Carolina's most competitive soccer league this fall, recently released its All-Conference selections.
Broughton — which won the conference's regular-season and tournament titles — led the league with seven All-Conference honorees, while Leesville Road and Sanderson tied for the second-most selections with six apiece.
Without further ado, the Cap-7 Conference All-Conference team ...
Sanderson head coach Todd Worley (right) talks with members of his boys soccer team during an early-season game. The Spartans advanced to the second round of the playoffs before falling to Green Hope 2-1 in overtime Saturday. It was the last game for 12 Sanderson seniors.
Spartans' season comes to an end
Green Hope notches playoff win in overtime
Monday, two days after the Sanderson soccer team's 2-1 overtime loss at Green Hope in the second round of the 4-A state playoffs, coach Todd Worley said the Spartans' defeat — and its effect — was still setting in.
The loss ended Sanderson's season at 17-6-3, but more importantly marked the final game for a dozen Spartan seniors. It's a group which experienced remarkable success during their four-year high school careers. In each of the past four seasons, Sanderson has advanced to the second round of the playoffs or beyond.
"Today was a pretty depressing day knowing I will never coach them again," Worley said by phone Monday night. "I was very lucky to be able to coach a group of players like this."
In addition to stepping in to play center back Tuesday night, Sanderson senior Glenn Scott scored on a penalty kick, lifting the Spartans to a 1-0 win over Middle Creek.
Sanderson soccer survives first round
Scott's late penalty kick lifts Spartans to win over Middle Creek
The postseason isn't the most opportune time to be shorthanded, but the Sanderson soccer team found itself in that position Tuesday night, and yet prevailed anyway.
In a hard fought 4-A NCHSAA first-round state playoff match-up against Middle Creek, the Spartans pulled out a 1-0 victory thanks to a Glenn Scott penalty kick with less than 15 minutes remaining.
But it wasn't Scott's goal which was notable — he notched 30 this season, so it was pretty common occurrence — but rather the senior's work at defensive back Tuesday.
Without defensive leader and senior Jackson Parker — sidelined due to a broken hand suffered against Broughton last week — the Spartans moved Scott, their leading scorer, to center back.
Broughton bests Spartans in tournament finale
Following Sanderson's 2-0 defeat to Broughton in the Cap-7 Conference soccer tournament championship game Thursday night at Leesville Road High — and the Capitals were the ones celebrating with a trophy in hand — Spartan head coach Todd Worley wasn't displeased.
Aside from the Capitals' two early goals, Sanderson played the state's No. 3-ranked squad competitively, with chances to score that just didn't come to fruition.
"I think we had more opportunities to score in the first half, but we didn't," the coach shrugged. "They did a good job of putting the ball in the net. No complaints, both goals were nice.
"We would have liked to win that game, but right now they have our number and, hopefully, we can change that the next time we face them."
Sanderson's Taylor Wyatt (left) holds off Leesville Road's Ian Ramsey during the second half of Tuesday's Cap-7 Conference tournament semifinals match. The Spartans won the contest 2-1.
Sanderson soccer shoots down Pride
Spartans advance to face Broughton
in championship game Thursday
Tied 1-1 with Leesville Road in the second half of Tuesday's Cap-7 Conference tournament semifinals match, Sanderson's Glenn Scott broke down downfield with teammates J.P. Rafferty flanked to his right and Casey Francis to his left.
With the Pride's three defenders in retreat mode, Scott hit Rafferty in stride, and the senior one-timed the ball perfectly to a streaking Francis, who added soft deflection for the would-be game-winner.
From the moment Scott cross midfield, the play appeared to have goal written all over it, and the trio didn't disappoint.
Sanderson head coach Todd Worley explained the Spartans couldn't have drawn it up better.
"It was a really nice breakaway and they all did all the right things," he said. "Casey made a nice touch on the ball."
Alex de Groot (9) and the Wakefield soccer team battles Austin Dietz (left), Alex Oloffson (21) and the Millbrook soccer team in the first round of the Cap-7 Conference soccer tournament Monday night. The Wildcats host the match-up, set to begin at 6:30 p.m.
Cap-7 Conference soccer tournament schedule set
With the conclusion of the Cap-7 Conference boys soccer regular-season schedule Wednesday night, area teams begin preparing for their respective first-round match-ups in the league's tournament, which kicks off Monday, Oct. 26.
Fourth-seeded Millbrook (6-6) hosts fifth-seeded Wakefield (5-6-1), while second-seeded Leesville Road (7-4-1) hosts No. 7 Wake Forest-Rolesville (0-12). The Pride defeated the Cougars 7-0 Wednesday in the squads' respective finales.
For highlights of Wednesday's Broughton/Sanderson soccer game, click on our video.
'Snake-bitten' Spartans fall
Minutes after Sanderson sophomore Dylan Ejlali ripped a 30-plus-yard goal, knotting Wednesday's match with Broughton at 1-1 in the second half, the Spartans found themselves knocking at the door again.
After Taylor Wyatt's free kick sliced past the Broughton goal, teammate Casey Francis retrieved the kick, and fed another pass toward the front of the net. After a deflection, senior Glenn Scott got off a clean shot, only to have the kick glance off the Broughton keeper and into the cross bar. The ball unluckily bounced out instead of in, and Scott's second shot was again deflected by a Capital and kicked away from goal.
For the Spartans, the near-miss could have swung the game in their favor. But instead, six minutes later, the Capitals' Harrison Delbridge netted a goal, giving Broughton a 2-1 lead, which stood up until the game's conclusion.
Sanderson sophomore Dylan Ejlali (6) pushes the ball upfield during Wednesday's 6-2 win over Wake Forest-Rolesville. With the victory, the Spartans improved to 7-2-1 in conference play.
Scott, Sanderson surge past WF-R
Although the Sanderson soccer team eventually pulled away from Wake Forest-Rolesville Wednesday night 6-2 — the Cougars are still winless in league play; at 7-2-1, the Spartans are quite the opposite — the contest once again proved there is no easy victory in the Cap-7 Conference.
Playing without several key contributors, including J.P. Rafferty and Jackson Parker, the Spartans watched WF-R stake a 1-0 lead midway through the first half.
While it wasn't that Sanderson didn't have its opportunities to score early, too, the squad just couldn't find the back of the net.
"We had chances all night long, but we kept missing and we got frustrated," Sanderson head coach Todd Worley said. "We kept them in the game a little bit, and when you do that — when you don't take care of your business — it can come back to haunt you."
Leesville Road's Bo Burns (9) looks to attack Sanderson's John Perfetti (4) during Monday's soccer match. Burns didn't score on this play, but he tallied two goals during the Pride's 4-3 win.
Monday night Sanderson senior Glenn Scott notched three goals — his 23rd, 24th and 25th scores of the season — but with less than 10 minutes remaining against Leesville Road, it was Pride senior Ryan Fleming who delivered the game-winner.
Tied at 3-3, the Pride's Chris Hawthorne sent a kick toward the front of the Spartan net and, after the ball was deflected, Fernando Castellanos popped it up for Fleming to finish off, clinching a 4-3 victory.
"I was just standing at the top of the 18, Fernando flipped it up and I just saw the volley, and thought, 'This is mine', and I hit it in," Fleming recalled after the game.
Wakefield's Greg Judge and Sanderson's Jackson Parker (13) and Nick Cioffi (5) track the ball's flight during Wednesday night's 1-1 tie at Sanderson.
SHS/WHS soccer thriller ends in tie
Not all goals are created equal.
And sometimes, a score is worth significantly more than a single point.
At least Wakefield junior Brandon Rothfuss' last-second goal in Wednesday's 1-1 overtime tie at Sanderson fits the criteria.
Trailing the Spartans 1-0 heading into the final minute of regulation, the Wolverines were clearly in desperation mode.
Several second-half opportunities had failed, and as the clock counted down, Wakefield's chances seemed to have run out.
Spartans fall to Capitals
The Sanderson soccer team couldn't overcome an early deficit, falling to Broughton 2-1 Monday, Sept. 28. For photos of the action, click on the photograph above.
Senior Jackson Parker (13) is a key member of the Sanderson soccer team's defense, but a hip flexor injury might keep him out of Monday's showdown with Broughton, said coach Todd Worley.
Spartans, Caps square off Monday
Both soccer teams unbeaten; winner takes over first in league
Entering Monday, the Broughton and Sanderson boys soccer teams stand alone — both 5-0 — at the top of the Cap-7 Conference standings, two games ahead of third-place Millbrook.
But barring a draw — how anticlimactic — Monday night's match between the Capitals and Spartans will break the deadlock.
And while there is no prize for being the leader at the turn, whichever club prevails takes a decided advantage toward winning the conference's regular season.
However, Sanderson coach Todd Worley sees the contest as more than just a fierce league match-up, but a great way to measure where his Spartans stand heading into the final month of the season.
Leesville Road's Chris Hawthorne (right) angles for position on Sanderson's Nick Cioffi during Wednesday night's match. The Spartans pulled out a 4-2 win, improving to 10-0-1 this season.
Spartans' strong second half halts Leesville Road
Following Wednesday night's 4-2 victory over Leesville Road, Sanderson soccer coach Todd Worley admitted his squad was drained before the match even began.
Just two days after a dramatic late-game win over Millbrook, the Spartans were spent on all levels.
"We knew the Millbrook game took a lot out of us — emotionally, physically, mentally," the coach said. "When you don't have all three of those, you're going to struggle."
JP Rafferty (left), who scored one of Sanderson's goals in a 3-2 win over Millbrook Monday, races down field along side the Wildcats' Bradley Newman (right).
Ejlali, Spartans outlast Wildcats
Wild game ends with three goals in final eight minutes Monday
When Sanderson senior JP Rafferty hit the back of the net in the 73rd minute of Monday night's match-up with conference rival Millbrook, it felt like a game-winner.
The Spartans — who trailed most of the match — celebrated the score as such, mobbing each other in front of their bench. It was even capped by a Casey Francis and Rafferty celebratory routine, ending with two seniors sliding across the ground.
But the goal was just the kickoff of a torrid finish to Sanderson's 3-2 victory, which led both teams on a roller coaster of emotions.
Sanderson's Jackson Parker (13) and Wakefield's Jay Williams collide mid-air, battling for a jump ball. While Williams won the ball, the Spartans took the victory, winning 3-1.
Spartans continue success in conference opener
Wakefield faces short layoff, playing Millbrook Wednesday
September 9, 2009
By Tommy Kopetskie, NorthRaleighSports.com
Six minutes into Tuesday's Cap-7 Conference soccer opener at Wakefield, Sanderson forward Glenn Scott did what he's done all season: find the net.
Off a J.P. Rafferty pass, Scott shook himself open, and despite losing his balance, still netted the goal — his 11th of the season — in the corner of the far post.
The senior explained jumping out early eased some of the tension in Tuesday's match, which Sanderson eventually won 3-1. Because both squads entered the contest unbeaten, the game had the air of not just an conference kickoff, but a playoff match-up.
Spartans stop Wolverines
With its 3-1 win over Wakefield Sept. 8, the Sanderson boys soccer team improved to 7-0-1 this season. For photos of the action, click on the picture above.
Sanderson forward Glenn Scott (10) scored one goal in Wednesday's 1-1 tie at Southeast Raleigh.
Sanderson, SE Raleigh split soccer match
Wednesday night's 1-1 tie with Southeast Raleigh might not fall in the loss column, but watching the Sanderson boys soccer bench afterward, it would be hard to tell otherwise.
After senior Glenn Scott put the Spartans up 1-0 with a first-half goal, the Spartans seemed likely to notch its seventh victory of the season. And considering that the Bulldogs were winless entering the non-conference match, it seemed a safe bet to come to that conclusion.
But Southeast's Adrian Akabi-Davis defied logic, netting a goal with less than 10 minutes remaining in the match, pulling the teams even. The contest ended deadlocked at 1-1.
Sanderson forward Glenn Scott (10) has been on a tear to start the season, notching five goals in the Spartans' first three games. Scott's score Monday helped Sanderson record a 2-0 win.
Spartans shut out Catamounts
Despite the fact his Spartans posted a 2-0 victory over Panther Creek Monday night, Sanderson boys soccer coach Todd Worley could not hide his concerns.
While the scoreboard might have favored Sanderson — thanks to seniors J.P. Rafferty and Glenn Scott each tacking on a goal — Worley was more worried with the squad's mental approach.
"I don't know exactly who this team was tonight," he explained of his Spartans. "They were alien to me.
"We just didn't have any of the passion tonight that we have had. And I think I know where that comes from. I gave them four days off, and I think that was a mistake."
The Sanderson boys soccer team defeated Panther Creek 2-0 Monday, Aug. 24. Click on the photograph above for more pictures of the action.