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Heritage soccer pulls away from Wakefield

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WAKE FOREST — Heritage’s boys soccer team continues to dominate at home this year after a 5-1 win over NAC 6 conference rival Wakefield Monday. The Huskies scored three goals in the first half and two in the second. Heritage is undefeated in front of their home crowd so far this season at 4-0-2 and are also undefeated in NAC 6 conference play at 2-0. Heritage head coach Scott Sloan praised his team for spreading the ball around against Wakefield. The Huskies scored five goals from five different players and four different players dished out an assist each. “We overloaded Wakefield through our midfield,” Sloan said. “We found pockets of space and we were able to play comfortable, positive soccer. We had a good couple of options every time we had the ball at our feet.” Heritage scored the first goal 15 minutes into the match from Dominic LeClercq. The freshman took on Wakefield’s goalkeeper one-on-one and kicked the ball into the back of the net before the goalie could get his hands on it. Six minutes later, David Ortiz scored for the Huskies off a long shot from outside the penalty box. Then with 5:35 left in the first half, Wakefield’s C.J. Gumbo gave the Wolverines their first and only goal of the match. The ball bounced off the crossbar after an earlier shot from Wakefield and Gumbo was there with the rebound to kick it into the bottom left corner of the net. Heritage quickly responded with another goal a minute and a half later. Liam Tolksdorf fed the ball to Pablo Rodriguez who converted a long shot from just inside the penalty box to make the score 3-1 before halftime.

From that point on, Heritage hunkered down on defense and played efficient on offense. Josh Bratager scored his ninth goal of the season with 11:35 left in the match. Then with three seconds left on the clock, Heritage defender Carson Evans meant to clear the ball, but a lucky bounce put the ball into the back of the net to make the final score 5-1. Sloan said giving up that one goal and missing out on a shutout motivated the players to compete harder in the second half. “We were upset we gave up that one goal,” Sloan said. “The guys were a little salty for giving up the goal, so they buckled down in the second half. Our attack started with our back line. The defenders got the ball to our midfielders down the field.” With the loss, Wakefield dropped to 3-8-2 overall and 1-1 in NAC 6 conference play. The Wolverines started the season 0-4 and now they have to regroup if they want to keep their 4A state playoff chances alive. As for Heritage, the win improved their overall record to 6-3-3. The Huskies are coming off a 7-0 win at Corinth Holders last week. Sloan wants his players to keep pushing their limits after outscoring their conference opponents 12-1 in the past two matches. “We have to continue to play positive soccer,” Sloan said. “We have to look at options when going forward down the field. I’m excited to see what our guys can do.” Heritage will play Rolesville Tuesday at home at 6 p.m. Wakefield will play at Enloe Monday at 6:30 p.m. and then take on rival Wake Forest the following day Tuesday at home at 6 p.m.