Published: Mar 02, 2012 02:08 PM
Modified: Mar 02, 2012 03:07 PM
APEX - Carys girls soccer team celebrated Wednesday nights victory at Apex like it had won much more than its second game of the season.
And after the 2-1 win over the Cougars, the Imps first over Apex in at least five years, nobody in Kelly green downplayed the importance of taking down the teams biggest rival.
Obviously, any time you beat your school rival, that is huge, said Cary coach Laura Kerrigan. Apex is such a fantastic team, theyre well coached and they have some fantastic players, and it certainly means more when you beat a quality team.
The return of several Cary players who were injured and unavailable in a Monday night loss to Holly Springs played a big role in the victory. The biggest impact belonged to goalkeeper Kristen Puryear, who never appeared tentative in her first action back after being out four months with a back injury.
I came out here strong, said Puryear. Every goalkeeper is a little quirky, and Im a very aggressive person, thats just my style.
Apex dominated possession in the early going, but was unable to convert any of those looks into quality shots on goal. The game was tied at halftime after 40 uneventful minutes for both Puryear and Apex keeper Megan Miller.
The Cougars struck first just a minute into the second half, when Caylin Bullock gathered in a rebound amid heavy traffic in front of the net and ripped it past Puryear for a 1-0 lead.
Cary responded just one minute later, when junior Anna Witte drew a penalty kick and beat Miller to tie it up.
After struggling to find any clean looks in the first half of Wednesday nights game against rival Apex, Cary junior forward Bria Dixon, a Virginia Tech recruit, finally seized her best scoring chance of the night when it arrived at the 34-minute mark.
Dixon scored what proved to be the game-winner with a free kick that soared over a wall of Apex defenders and past the helpless arms of Miller, who never had a chance at the upper-90 blast.
The first thought is, dont hit it into the wall, said Dixon. I was looking at the top right corner because I knew the keeper was shifted that way, so I just hit it there, and it went in. I thought it was 50-50 because I knew I hit it right, but then sometimes things do happen and it doesnt go in right.
Dixons goal proved to be the difference for the Imps.
Its nice to have young players that can step in and even start for us. But I cant say enough about the leadership that we have on this team. That has a lot to do with what we did tonight, said Kerrigan. We had a couple of close games with them the last few years and that does a tremendous amount to build your confidence.