Four Titles Up For Grabs Saturday In Men’s Soccer


RALEIGH — Four championships will be decided Saturday in the annual North Carolina High School Athletic Association’s state men’s soccer championships at Dail Soccer Field on the campus of North Carolina State University.

The championship weekend, which includes will start with the 1-A final on Saturday morning at 11:05, followed by the 3-A game at 2:05 p.m. and the 2-A final at 5:05 p.m. The final game of the quadrupleheader will be the 4-A contest, starting at 8:05 p.m. This will be the 13th year for four separate classified championships.

All four of the games will be televised by Time Warner Cable and available on Local on Demand, digital channel 199 on Time Warner systems across the state.

Saturday’s first game, the 1-A classification final, has two teams making their initial appearances an NCHSAA soccer championship as Wallace-Rose Hill (22-3) takes on North Moore (20-3-1).

All-state players Erik Patino and Carlos Gomez lead Wallace-Rose Hill and Menor Espinoza is the team’s leading scorer with 37 goals. North Moore has outscored its opposition 22-1 in the playoffs, with junior Pedro Ugarte and soph Iban Catalan leading the offensive attack.

The 3-A game will see defending champion Jacksonville make its fifth visit to the finals since 2005.  The Cardinals (20-4-1) will face Waxhaw Marvin Ridge (21-1-1).

Jacksonville rolled past Wilson Hunt 6-1 in the Eastern final and the Cards are led by Clayton Sparks (26 goals) and Warren Washington (25 goals).  Marvin Ridge, in the championship for the second time and first time since 2009, will counter with a strong one-two punch of Will Green (23 goals) and Klint Parker (22 goals).

The 5:05 pm contest for the 2-A title has Kill Devil Hills First Flight (23-0) against Salisbury (26-1) in a battle of potent offenses and stingy defenses.  Salisbury won the 2011 2-A title and has a great scoring threat in senior midfielder Bobby Cardelle, who has 44 goals on the season and has cracked the 100-goal barrier for his career.

First Flight features the Northeastern Coastal Conference Offensive Player of the Year in Graham Smalley (33 goals, 24 assists) as well as the conference’s Defensive Player of the Year in Seth Pugh.

The final game of the day will send two well-established soccer powers, Raleigh Sanderson (23-6-1) against T.C. Roberson (26-0-2), for the 4-A championship.

Sanderson, which is in the finals for the 14th time and has won or shared 11 state titles, has not played for a state soccer title since 1996. The Spartans stunned two-time defending state champ Cary Green Hope 3-0 in the Eastern final on Tuesday night. Michael Clemmons and Ryan Turner each have 17 goals to pace the Spartans.

Roberson is playing in its sixth championship and is 2-3 in previous title matches, most recently in 2003. The Rams are averaging better than 4.6 goals per game, led by senior standout Austin Stamey (34 goals), and goalkeeper Kevin Rhash has recorded 16 shutouts.

Tickets will be eight dollars at the gate. The Raleigh Sports Consortium serves as a host city sponsor for these championships, along with the city of Raleigh and the Greater Raleigh Convention and Visitors’ Bureau.




Dail Soccer Field, North Carolina State University

Saturday, November 16

Class 1-A—11:05 am

Wallace-Rose Hill High School Bulldogs (22-3) vs. North Moore High School Mustangs (20-3-1)

Class 3-A—2:05 pm

Jacksonville High School Cardinals (20-4-1) vs. Marvin Ridge High School Mavericks (21-1-1)

Class 2-A—5:05 pm

First Flight High School Nighthawks (23-0) vs. Salisbury High School Hornets (26-1)

Class 4-A—8:05 am

Raleigh Sanderson High School Spartans (23-6-1) vs. Asheville T.C. Roberson High School Rams (26-0-2)