APA falls to Wayne Country Day in soccer season opener
Arendell Parrott Academy’s George Dismukes fights for position in Tuesday’s game against Wayne Country Day. Photo by Laieke Abebe / Neuse News
Arendell Parrott Academy didn’t ease into the 2019 boys’ soccer season.
The Patriots fell to Wayne Country Day 2-0 Tuesday, matching up against a Chargers team that reached the NCISAA 1A semifinals last year after an undefeated regular season. The schedule won’t get easier for APA with games against Village Christian Thursday and defending NCISAA 2A champion Fayetteville Academy Friday in the St. David’s Invitational Tournament, but Patriots coach Shivar Person said the competition is essential — especially starting off with Wayne Country Day (3-0).
“We love putting them on the schedule because playing a team with that type of quality is only going to help us against teams that we play down the road,” Person said. “I thought we moved the ball well, our goalie was great — he made a lot of fantastic saves. We used the back very good, (but) just didn’t capitalize on the offensive, and that’s where it got us.”
Marquise Newell scored in the second and 28th minutes for Wayne Country Day, but the game John Grice wouldn’t let the game turn into a rout. The Chargers outshot the Patriots 23-11, but Grice had 13 saves, including stops on a breakaway and subsequent rebound in the 59th minute.
Grice said the team worked hard during the summer and a senior-laden squad is ready to produce.
“We practiced well before the season, and we’ve got a lot of experience on the team,” Grice said. “We’ve worked with each other for years and it’s basically the same team from last year — we only lost one starter.”
APA reached the playoffs last season for the first time since 2014, and Person said the team has strong expectations for this campaign.
“Every year, we want to be able to compete for a conference title,” Person said. “We had a lot of close games in conference last year and our main goal this year is to host a playoff game. We got in last year for the first time in a couple of years and this year, we’d love to be a host. Once you get into the playoffs, anything can happen.”