Men’s soccer team falls in state title game

Jackson Brakebill, Online Sports Editor

The Caps men’s soccer team finished their season with a 1-0 heartbreaker to Reagan High School in the state championship game, but the team was far from feeling defeated.

The season was one of few losses and of long winning streaks that led them through the rigorous playoffs to the final round.

The match was a stalemate for the entire first half with Broughton on offense and facing a relentless defense in Reagan. Few shots were taken by either team and it appeared that the team to strike first could take the title.

In the first ten minutes of the second half Reagan capitalized on a fast break to place a ball just out of reach of Broughton goalie Frankie Stallings.

With a uphill battle for the rest of the match, the team tried to find a hole in the opposing defense, but couldn’t make the tying shot.

“These guys worked so hard this year to get where they got and of course we were disappointed with the outcome of the game, but as for the season as a whole I was extremely proud of the guys” said head coach Nick Wheeler.

Winning the Cap-8 Conference virtually unopposed, the soccer team secured the number three seed in the east bracket. With a 19-1-2 record the Caps have made a deep run in the playoffs to reach the final game.

In the first round the team faced the Enloe Eagles who the Caps swept in the regular season. They quickly took care of business quickly with a 5-0 win.

Ibrahim Mohamud scored the first two goals of the game giving the Caps a lead that was never broken. Throughout the other goals were scored by Brickhouse, Chris Vlahoplus, and Jacob McCaslin in the rout of the Eagles.

The second round of the playoffs had the Caps facing the Heritage Huskies who finished a not-so-close second to Broughton. With much of the first half of the match in a stalemate, the Caps struck first with a header from Brandon Gettinger assisted by Brickhouse in the last two minutes of the half.

The Caps stormed in the second half to defeat the Huskies 4-0 with two second half goals scored by Elvis Wiredu and one by Ike Drooz to advance to the next round.

They faced their toughest opponent of the season with their third round matchup last Wednesday against the Apex Cougars. At 14-5-2 they were a very good matchup for the Caps to test themselves against a good opponent.

The first half started off as a back and forth from offense to defense for each side. But with a corner kick the Caps struck first with a header from Vlahoplus with 20 minutes left in the first half. In the second half the Caps scored again from a strike by Gettinger. Roughly ten minutes later Vlahoplus scored once again thank to an amazing assist from Drooz. The Cougars got on the board late in the match, but the Caps held their own to win and advance to the fourth round of the playoffs.

On Saturday, Nov. 8, the team won 3-2 in a match against the Cinderella story Middle Creek Mustangs who were the highest seed left in the state.   The Mustangs struck first soon after the match started to put Broughton in an unfamiliar situation. Shortly afterwards Brandon Gettinger scored to tie the match up. Before the half ended the Mustangs scored once again to lead the Caps at the break.

Broughton came out of the half in stride with a goal from defenseman Jack Krueger followed by a header into an undefended goal from Brickhouse to secure their seventh straight win.

The Caps advanced after winning 5-2 Tuesday in the semi-final game against New Hanover High School from Wilmington.

New Hanover was a tough opponent, but behind a stellar hat trick from Matt Brickhouse and ferocious defense from Jack Krueger, the Caps punched their ticket to the state championship game.

The Caps struck early to have a 3-0 lead but New Hanover responded with two more goals. The Caps stood tall, however, and collected two more points to win the match.

Brickhouse received the MVP of the eastern regional tournament after the match during the awards ceremony.

“I was glad to be apart of the team and was happy with the results we had during the year. I’m excited for the future of the program and the success that can spur from our season” Brickhouse said.

The Caps look ahead to the future and see a bright path ahead of them.