Middle Creek shuts out Fuquay-Varina, 1-0
Posted 10:26 p.m. Monday
Apex, N.C. — Middle Creek held off rival Fuquay-Varina Monday night, 1-0, to remain perfect in Southwest Wake Conference play and extend its winning streak to four games.
“I felt like we created a lot of opportunities tonight,” said Middle Creek head coach Guy Coleman. “We didn’t finish as many as we wanted to, but we finished the one that counted.”
Lady Mustangs senior forward Kylie McElroy scored in the 21st minute for Middle Creek’s game-winning goal.
“It’s always good to beat a rival, especially when you’re home,” McElroy said. “You always want to defend your home field.”
McElroy received a pass from the right wing from junior defender Amanda Sales, settled the ball and blasted it past Fuquay-Varina senior goalkeeper Rachel Howard.
“I saw Amanda look for me,” McElroy said. “She saw me, she looked up; it was in the air and I went for it.”
McElroy found the back of the net five minutes earlier, but the play was nixed after the Mustangs were flagged for offside.
Middle Creek controlled the pace of play in the first half, keeping the ball in Fuquay-Varina’s defensive zone for the majority of the opening 40 minutes, but the Bengals did have a few scoring chances of their own.
The Bengals couldn’t finish off a play five minutes into the match with Middle Creek’s senior goaltender Carolina Lauer out of position. Josey Wilson had a chance to score after receiving a pass from Hannah McClaugherty in the 35th minute, but the ball sailed a few feet high of the crossbar.
Middle Creek freshman Bayleigh Humbert nearly added the Mustangs’ second goal on a free kick just outside of the box in the 55th minute, but backup Fuquay-Varina junior goalie Kristin Davis made a diving save.
The Mustangs corralled the rebound but were unable to finish on the play, sending the ball high over the crossbar.
McElroy had several more quality chances in the second half, the closest coming on a cross in the 64th minute, but she was just behind the ball with an open net.
Despite McElroy’s individual efforts Monday night, she credited her teammates for putting the ball in the right spot for scoring chances.
“My teammates are a big part of it,” McElroy said. “Without those crosses, I wouldn’t be able to do that. I feel like I have a sense for where the ball is going to go, and I’m good at judging the ball in the air.”
McElroy played Monday night with a tweaked hamstring, suffered in the Mustangs’ win last week against Holly Springs.
“We’re just trying to get her back in the mix and get her back on the scoreboard,” Coleman said. “We were able to do that tonight, and unfortunately she missed the other one by inches.”
Middle Creek (5-1-1, 5-9 SWAC) and Fuquay-Varina (3-4, 1-3 SWAC) will both return to action Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. The Mustangs will visit Green Hope, and the Bengals will host Panther Creek.