Varsity Soccer 4-1-1 in non-conference play


All-region center midfielder Zach Morris battles for possession with a Franklinton defender while sophomore Dylan Chain watches on. Morris has 15 assists and one goal for the season.

Chandler Byrd, Voice Editor

In the past few years, Wake Forest soccer has not been at the top of the conference, nor have they been known to dominate their competition. This season these “underdogs” have successfully defeated most of their non-conference competitors.

With a 4-1 non-league record, the only loss being to nationally ranked Green Hope High School, the boys began their non-conference season on a positive note.

After the loss to Green Hope, the Cougars dominated in their first away game against Rolesville High School with a win of 8 to 1.

“This year’s team has more of a balance. All of the players have a near-equal set of skills compared to past teams where there were several players that considered themselves superior to their teammates. Since the boys are similar, they know how to work together and that has helped us,” coach Jeremiah Mattingly said.

Mattingly continuously boasts about the team’s camaraderie.

“We are more of a team than ever before. It is good to be able to rely on your teammates when competing against such challenging teams,” senior mid-fielder Andrew Martin-Smith said.

In the next few games, the Cougars continued to beat their competition and pull out successful wins. With scores of 8 to 2 against Franklinton and 5 to 1 against Cary, the team began to build confidence.

Mattingly said the game against AC Reynolds High School was the most interesting. He complimented the way both teams battled to the very end.

Wake Forest started off the game with a goal and was up 1 to 0. AC Reynolds quickly challenged them by scoring two goals. The Cougars stayed in the game by scoring three more goals to result in a final score of 4 to 3.

“In the game against AC Reynolds we scored first and got cocky. We expected a win and then got scored on twice. Luckily, we were able to get three more goals and a win,” junior defender Zach Coates said.

Out of the five games the team has scored 25 goals, many of which come from sophomore Zach Engel. Engel is ranked fourth in the region for goal scoring and is a key player.

Engel scored three of the four goals in the AC Reynolds game.

“It is not about how many goals I’ve scored—or that anybody has scored—it  is about how we play together. It would not matter if I scored a thousand goals if the whole team did not contribute to our wins,” Engel said.

Mattingly stated that he is excited to see how the team takes on the challenging competition of their conference games. He hopes they will take on these teams with the same spirit and positive attitudes they’ve had in this non-conference season.