Cougars fall to Apex 3 to 2 in overtime

Boys qualified second consecutive playoff birth.


Sophomore Chris Steg carries the ball up the field in a conference match against Rolesville. Steg was the leading goal scorer for the Cougars, seeing the back of the net 25 times this season.

Noah Pittarelli, Editor in Chief

In reflection to a successful regular season, the boys’ varsity soccer team looked forward to the postseason with hopes to find playoff retribution from last year.

The team lost in the first round to the Broughton Caps 3 to 0 in 2017, but have made many improvements from previous years, starting with non-conference play.

The Cougars summed up non-conference with a record of 7-3-2.

Junior midfielder Luis Dorta points to many accomplishments when summarizing the regular season.

“The majority of the stuff we accomplished are not conceding too many goals, scoring twice as many goals this season, beating Heritage, and getting lots of new recruits for the season,” Dorta said.

To conclude the regular season, the team finished 14-5-3, finding improvement in the conference at 7-2-1. The boys also saw a 4 to 3 victory against Heritage on senior night, the first since 2013.

These factors contributed to a second place finish in the conference for the boys, surpassing their third place result in 2017.

The boys have high expectations for the postseason, according to senior Krystian Serwinski, captain and starting goalkeeper.

“We hope to make a deep run in the playoffs and hopefully win a state championship, and we are going to do it by working hard and working together as a team,” Serwinski said.

Dorta also aspires to go far into the playoffs, either fifth round or winning the state championship.

Both players agree that strong bonds and team ethic have gotten them to where they are at this point.

“I think we’ve just done well playing together as a team and like I said working as a team and just putting in the work every day,” Serwinski said.

The team relies on more than just a high level of play out on the field.

Dorta said, “We all come as a unit, treat each other like family, and most of all we work hard and focus on the season.”

The players’ hopeful tone bore fruit Nov. 3 as WF scored first in the opening half as junior Chris Guccio netted his first of two goals on the night.

Yennairy Pena, senior assisted Guccio on the second goal in the second half to go ahead.

The Cougars from Apex would net two goals in the second frame to force two 10-minute overtime periods, where Apex scored in the first of the ten minute periods to secure the win 3 to 2.

Under coach Rick Pittarelli, the team has qualified for the playoffs for the second straight season. Prior to that, the boys’ squad met Garner in 2013, where the Cougars also squandered a lead and lost in overtime.

The last playoff victory for boys’ soccer came on a 2 to 1 win over Greenhope in 2006. The team fell in round two to Broughton 2 to 1 who went on to win its second consecutive state championship.