CARY — In a contest between two boys soccer programs that are used to long postseason runs, there was a postseason feel to Green Hope’s Friday night victory against Cardinal Gibons.
With no football game for Green Hope, and Cardinal Gibbons’ football team playing an hour away, students turned out en masse to see the Falcons hold on for a 4-3 home victory.
Lasse Frigstand, a transfer student from Norway, scored two goals, and his second was the game-winner.
The Falcons (17-1) opened up the scoring at the 17th-minute mark as Frigstand found the back of the net of a 2-on-1 break. Jon Giacona had won back possession close to the Gibbons’ box when he took a few touches and dished to Frigstand, who one-timed it.
“It was a fantastic switch by Jon, we split up the defense, he saw me and I one touched it past the keeper,” Frigstand said.
Cardinal Gibbons (12-5-1) scored the next two goals with four minutes remaining to half to take a 2-1 lead into the break.
In the 36th minute, off a corner kick by Sam Millikan, Bryan Hall headed home Gibbons’ first goal. Three minutes later, Cesar Palacios went high with his left-footed shot, getting it under the crossbar and past Green Hope goalkeeper Sam Bissett to go up 2-1.
Cam Steele had the Gibbons’ assist on the second goal.
“We knew, coming into this game, that we would be just a little fatigued, little wiped,” said Falcons coach Michael Hoy. “We were going to try to find that energy and it was a lot on that mental side. They were ready to play in the second half, ready to push through it.”
Green Hope and Cardinal Gibbons exchanged goals in the 53rd minute, scoring just 28 seconds apart, as the Falcons’ Zack Compton scored on an assist from MacLean Holbrook. Then the Crusaders’ Hall scored his second of the night, sending in a loose ball from in front of the net.
In the 69th minute, an own goal leveled the game.
Green Hope’s Zach Doernberg put in a free kick from 35 yards out that bounced off a Crusader player, then off the near goal post and into the net.
Frigstand closed out the scoring in the 71st minute, with the deciding tally putting in the rebound from a free kick by Sam Rauf.
The game could have easily been a win for the Crusaders had it not been for Green Hope’s Bissett.
“When he is needed, Sammy is just brilliant. He is the best keeper I’ve seen in the state so far,” Hoy said. “He deserves to be going and playing D1 soccer next year. He is a very key element of this team.”
Even in the loss, Gibbons took plenty of positives away.
“That is exactly what we wanted, a tough playoff type game,” said Crusaders coach Tim Healy. “Playing away in an event, in a do-or-die situation. That way we can get ready for the playoffs.”
The mutual respect between the two programs, which have made it a habit to play one another late in the season in recent years, was evident on both sides.
“Gibbons is one of the better teams we’ve run into this year,” said Hoy. “We’ll see more teams of that make-up as move into November.”