Men’s soccer strives for improvement

Ralph Philips, Sports Writer

Soccer is a world-class sport in its own respect and arguably most popular among all nations and genders. Here in Fuquay Varina, we love our soccer teams, especially the high school varsity men’s team. 

It started out rough this year for the men’s team, as they lost their first five games of the year. It felt like a whirlwind of bad luck was dropped upon this team as they fought day after day for their first win of the season. First, it was a 3-0 loss to our rival school, Holly Springs. Then it was a 2-1 loss to Fuquay’s fiercest rival, Middle Creek. After that, more heartbreaking losses ensued, to Apex 4-1, Green Level 2-1, and Wakefield 4-3. 

But then they did it. The team got their first win against Athens Drive in a thrilling 2-1 victory. It was a very evenly played match. It was back and forth the whole way through but Fuquay pulled away victoriously after a game-winning goal from Senior Olutayo Olorounto. Olorounto went on to say, “The goal was 1% skill, 1% luck, and 98% instinct.”

After that, the team came face to face with Middle Creek once again but this time it was at Fuquay’s house and they reigned victoriously. This was a make-or-break game for the Bengals and they did it. They did their thing and the fans were there to show out for them. There was so much buildup to the game because some Middle Creek player(s) were making derogatory comments about the team before that week, but they got the job done and brought home the win.

Next up the team tied with Lee County in a game that went the full distance including overtime. “I feel pretty confident, we have a strong team and I think we’ll go far,” said senior Eli Abdous after the game. 

Senior striker Luis Contreras believes that this team is improving and will continue to get better, “It’s progressing pretty well. We’re progressing every game, and that will really help us with conference games coming up since we have good competition in Clayton and Cleveland,” said Contreras.

Contreras attributes the team’s improvement to a growth mindset. ¨From back then to now, the whole team has built relationships around each other and we all have become closer and good friends. That shows on the field as no one is scared to talk to each other anymore and everyone feels like they’re part of the team whether they play or not,” said Contreras.   

This year lots of people had Fuquay going this far, as they looked very good before the season started. “Our biggest strength this year is that the team is mainly seniors. We have the experience to play. Most of these guys have been playing their whole life, and most of them have started on the team since they were freshmen. That really benefits us with their experience,” said Contreras

With the team now coming together and playing at a high level like they have the last few games, they look to keep striving for improvement. Their upcoming matches are home versus Garner on Sept. 14, away at Willow Springs on Sept. 19, and home versus Clayton on Sept. 21.