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WAKE FOREST — Heritage’s boys soccer team tied their opponent for the third time this season with a 3-3 result against Millbrook at home on Aug. 29.
The Huskies trailed 3-2, but with 33 seconds left in the game, Pablo Rodriguez scored a goal for Heritage to end the match in a tie rather than a loss. Heritage head coach Scott Sloan said the way the match ended showed that his team still has plenty of work to do.
“Tonight was a tale of two halves,” Sloan said. “I thought the first half was OK. The second half was just ugly. We gave away two goals. I saw two teams still trying to figure things out early in the season out on the field tonight. We have talent. We just have to figure out how to put the pieces in the right places.”
Millbrook scored the first goal two minutes into the match. The Wildcats threw the ball in and it eventually landed at the feet of a Millbrook player who kicked it into the back of the net.
Four minutes later, Heritage evened the score after Millbrook’s goalkeeper made a poor pass. David Ortiz intercepted the ball for the Huskies, beat the goalie one-on-one and tied the game at 1-1.
In the second half, Millbrook broke the tie with 23 minutes left in the match. One minute later, the Wildcats added another goal off another throw-in. That made the score 3-1 with 22 minutes left in the game.
“The defense showed lack of communication,” Sloan said. “The guys were soft defensively. That’s something we have to get better at.”
With 11:16 left in the contest, Landon Sloan made a penalty kick for Heritage to cut the deficit to 3-2. The Huskies desperately tried to get another goal in before time ran out. Finally, Rodriguez took a long shot and the ball soared into the right side of the net to tie the match at 3-3.
“Pablo was gritty tonight,” Sloan said. “He didn’t give up on the ball. He stayed focused all the way to the end. He got a good goal, because he hustled after it.”
With the win, Heritage moved to 1-1-3 overall. They are undefeated at home, with their only loss coming on the road to Holly Springs the night before. Millbrook also stayed undefeated after the tie, moving their overall record to 1-0-2.
Sloan said he wants to see his players break out of ties and turn them into wins down the road. The only way to do that is to make smart plays on both sides of the ball.
“We need to develop our mentality,” Sloan said. “We can’t give the ball away so easily. Good teams are going to punish you if you give them open opportunities. If we clean the small stuff up, we’ll be fine.”
Heritage will play at Green Hope on Monday at 6:30 p.m.