APEX — It’s said the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. But if the different result eventually does come, then it’s called something else: persistence.
For Fuquay-Varina girls soccer team, the result of their persistence was a 3-2 win over Middle Creek on Wednesday night.
The Bengals dictated play from the start and went forward in waves from the start, but they simply could not find the goal before halftime.
“We talked about that at halftime. Keep doing the same things. Don’t get impatient. Keep possessing the ball and work it up the field, and the shots will go,” said Fuquay-Varina girls soccer coach Jeff Nelson.
But the shots didn’t start going in until after the Bengals found themselves trailing.
Kate Weisner gave the Mustangs a 1-0 lead in the 26th minute. The Middle Creek midfielder dribbled her way through the Bengal defense before poking the ball past goalkeeper Rachel Howard, who got her right hand on the ball but was unable to keep it out of the net.
Middle Creek defended all night. Centerbacks Jade Loftis and Hailey Meyer stayed organized and marked excellently Fuquay’s speedy attacking players. Goalkeeper Abby Coffey kept her backline organized and stood tall when challenged. She had six saves before halftime.
But the Mustangs simply couldn’t hold up under the unrelenting pressure.
The Bengals threatened for much of the first half and enjoyed the lion’s share of possession. But the breakthrough didn’t come until the half’s dying moments. Kristina Sedivy fought her defender off the ball near the touchline, then raced in on the Middle Creek goal before striking a 20-yard blast into the near upper corner for the equalizer with 1:19 on the clock.
Fuquay came out with a purpose and looked to seal the game early in the second half. Megan Greene saw a pair of chances go begging, before helping to set up the go-ahead goal. Rebecca Furr led the attack, driving in from the left flank. When no one challenged her advance, she uncorked a 20-yard strike over the outstretched arms of Middle Creek’s Coffey for a 2-1 lead 5:05 into the second half.
“Megan Greene and Kelley Suggs made great runs to drag away defenders and give me space. It was there for me to take,” said Furr, whose tally gave her a team-leading six goals for the season. “Usually, defenders are quick to step. I was shocked they didn’t, but because our forwards wreaked havoc on their backs the whole game, they were cautious and thought I’d play it to them instead of shooting it from that far out.”
Fuquay’s Christina Olivares seemed to have put the game away in the 70th minute, cracking a shot off the post and in after Greene’s excellent work to hold up the ball out wide and spot Olivares in the area for the chance.
But Middle Creek drew a goal back with less than a minute to play. Weisner held the ball up out wide before spotting at the near post Ally Elliot, who redirected the ball in to trim the Bengals’ lead to 3-2 with 44 seconds to play.
Wednesday’s meeting marked the midway point of the Southwest Wake Athletic Conference seasons for both teams. While Middle Creek is still in search of its first league victory, Fuquay remains in fifth place, firmly in line for a playoff spot, but by no means content with their current standing.
“It sets us up well. The game’s we’ve lost, they’ve been really tight and they just didn’t go our way,” Furr said. “Going back the second half of the season will be our shot to show what we can do.”