CARY—Senior midfielder Matt Betts was credited with a goal and an assist to lead Apex to a tough 2-1 victory over North Mecklenburg in a battle of unbeatens for the North Carolina High School Athletic Association state 4-A men’s soccer championship on Saturday night at SAS Soccer Park.
Betts was named the game’s Most Valuable Player as Apex won its first ever NCHSAA men’s soccer crown in its 25th year of soccer at the school. Apex finished the season 23-0-1 while North Mecklenburg, in its second visit to a state championship match since finishing as 4-A runner-up to Cary in 1998, suffered its first loss after 25 consecutive victories.
Apex struck for its goals in the first seven minutes of the match and held on. Betts had a corner kick in the game’s first three minutes that wound up being deflected into the goal, and then assisted on a second goal that appeared to deflect off heavy traffic in front of the net late in the first half to put the Cougars up 2-0.
North Meck got on the board on a goal by Patrick Sands with just under 13 minutes to play, but Apex keeper Connor McNeely thwarted any other Viking scoring opportunities.
Apex’s leading scorer, T.J. Beaulieu, saw very limited playing time due to injury.
NORTH CAROLINA HIGH SCHOOL ATHLETIC ASSOCIATION
2005 STATE 4-A MEN’S SOCCER CHAMPIONSHIP
SAS Soccer Park, Cary
Apex 2 0 --2
North Mecklenburg 0 1 --1
37:03 A -- Matt Betts
33:34 A -- Doug Perry (Matt Betts)
67:12 NM -Patrick Sands
END NCHSAA 4-A SOCCER