Girls Soccer

Fuquay-Varina girls soccer shuts out Apex, 1-0

Posted April 19

— ​Fuquay-Varina senior Hannah McClaugherty scored on a penalty kick in the 56th minute to lift the Lady Bengals past rival Apex, 1-0, Wednesday evening in the Peak City.

McClaugherty took a ball into the Cougars’ defensive box along the right wing, but was tripped up by senior Melissa Fernandez, drawing the game-deciding penalty kick – and a yellow card for Apex’s senior captain.

“I saw the net and my teammate behind me; I knew it was the goal that we needed,” McClaugherty said. “It was what we deserved, and it needed to be in the back of the net.

“My teammates and I prayed, and I felt that I was stronger going to the left corner and that’s where it needed to go.”

Wednesday’s game-winner now gives McClaugherty the team lead in goals (6) and points (17).

“Hannah McClaugherty has been vital to the success of our team,” said Fuquay-Varina head coach Nick Acosta. “She works her socks off every single game, and she leaves everything out there for her teammates. The goals are just a cherry on top of the work.”

Apex and Fuquay-Varina struggled to find any offensive rhythm in the first half, but both teams did have several quality scoring chances.

The Bengals’ junior Trinity Davis nearly tallied the first goal just three minute into the match, but her left-footed attempt clanged off the crossbar.

Apex hit the pipe several times Wednesday night, but its best scoring opportunity came in the 17th minute following a corner kick. The Cougars were able to notch a handful of shots on the Bengals’ net, but Fuquay-Varina was able to clear the zone and escape harm.

The second half closely mirrored the opening frame with neither team able to capitalize on its chances – until McClaugherty buried the game’s only goal.

McClaugherty nearly added a second on a long run but an Apex defender was able to track her down just in time to prevent a potential second goal.

Fuquay-Varina’s victory splits the season series against Apex, with both teams winning by a 1-0 margin. The Bengals have gone 2-2-1 in their last five conference matches and have held its opponents scoreless in the last two games.

“They got the better end of last time at home, so it was good to get a little bit of revenge,” Acosta said. “This conference, nothing is given to you. Every game is going to be a battle, and we finally fell on the right side of one of these 1-0 games.

Fuquay-Varina (8-8-1, 5-6-1 SWAC) and Apex (5-5-2, 5-4-2 SWAC) will both return to action Thursday with matches at 6:30 p.m. The Bengals will travel to Raleigh for a match with Athens Drive, and the Cougars are slated to visit SWAC foe Holly Springs.

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