Soccer earns first playoff berth since 2006


Madeline Murdock, News Editor

Despite a series of last-second losses, the boys’ varsity soccer team has had its most successful season since coach Jeremiah Mattingly took over the program in 2010.

The team finished 12-11-1 overall and 7-8 in Cap-8 play. This season marked the first winning season since 2000 and the first playoff appearance since 2006.

“I am proud of our effort and growth in the season, and for the program, as we are the first men’s team to win 10 or more games in many years,” Mattingly said.

Mattingly came to Wake Forest during the 2010-11 school year and has “grown up” with the same team. Two of the seniors currently on the team, Jacob Turner and Andrew Mangeni, began playing on the team in 2010 as well.

“We have good chemistry,” senior Robert Trail said.

Even though they have experienced success, what could have been is more impressive. Six of the team’s losses came in the final minutes of the match.

“We just need to finish out the game and not think that everything is just given to us. We need to play all 80 minutes,” senior Meade Baskerville said.

Baskerville led the team with the most goals scored on the season, with a total of 15.

The first loss came against Broughton, Sept. 3, when the Cougars tied the Caps 1-1 only to lose 2-1.

At home Sept. 11 the boys tied with rivals, Heritage. The score was 2-2, which sent the boys into two 10-minute overtime periods. In the end, the Huskies won 4-2.

“We need to play consistently. We were great one night and then mediocre the next,” Mattingly said.

At Athens Drive on Sept. 27 the team enjoyed a 3-0 lead, only to give up three goals and tie the game 3-3.

Two later losses to Millbrook followed: 3-2 in the final 40 seconds on Sept. 30 and 1-0 in the final minutes of the conference tournament Oct. 21.

“I think a lot of it is just that the competition we played was so high and then our program is still trying to learn how to win. We went through so many years of losing. The ability to win close games is a confidence thing,” Mattingly said.

The playoff match against Greater Neuse Conference Champion Garner, 4-3, followed the team’s previous results in the game’s closing minutes. Minutes left in regulation, the Cougars led the Trojans 3-2.

“I felt that we were going to pull through and keep with the game, but it is what it is. We gave it our best,” Baskerville said.

Although a few minor challenges have come in the way, there is always room for improvements, especially against the team’s biggest competition: Wakefield, Heritage and Sanderson.

“We just have to keep getting better at all parts of the game, especially marking up with the other team’s attackers,” junior varsity coach Benjamin Daniels said.

The majority of the team is made up of seniors this season; however, both Mattingly and Daniels have “high hopes” for the team for the seasons to come.

Mattingly said, “We do lose a strong senior class but return a good number of talented players,” Mattingly said. “The seniors will be missed, but their desire to keep working hard during good times and bad will be a lesson that will remain for years to come.”

The boy’s varsity soccer team will continue to strive for success in the upcoming seasons with the hope that this years success will carry over.
Sophomore Zachary Engel said, “I was happy we were able to do so well this season and we improved a bunch from last year, there was a better atmosphere this year. Next year we have good leadership and we should be able to do just as well.”