Prep Soccer: Raiders' hard-fought upset bid ends in OT loss
Special to SVLfreenews.com
The North Iredell Raiders took their game to the next level Wednesday night at Cox Mill High School in the first round of the NCHSAA Class 3A soccer playoffs, but came up a goal short as they dropped a 2-1 decision in overtime.
The Raiders, who entered the game as the No. 29 seed in the West Region, came out ready to play, despite missing two starters and having two others playing injured.
No. 4 Cox Mill, the South Piedmont Conference champions, got on the scoreboard first when a free kick slipped by Raiders keeper Scout Hix.
The Raiders fought relentlessly to even the score and finally got the equalizer in the game's 72nd minute. After Travis Wilcox received a hard foul just inside the box by the Chargers defense, Wilcox stepped up to the spot and drove a bullet PK into the net.
North Iredell just missed another chance on a drive deep in the box just a few minutes later, but failed to take the lead and the game went into overtime.
The Chargers (14-4-3) scored on a set piece after a Raiders' foul to take the lead just two minutes into the first 10-minute overtime period.
The Raiders had several attempts in the second overtime but came up short.
The North Iredell back line once again played stellar defense. Hix recorded 12 saves for the game.
For the year, the Raiders defensive unit led by Hix, Ezra Moorefield and Hunter Ketchie allowed 10 goals in 18 games, discounting set pieces.
Wilcox had a great senior year, finishing second in the North Piedmont Conference with 24 goals.
Coach Tyler Carter ended the season as North's best first-year coach as the Raiders finished the season 10-6-2.