The Caps found themselves behind for the first time in the playoffs when Middle Creek scored off a long throw-in about 11 minutes into the game to go up 0-1. Just a couple of minutes later, junior defender Bryant O'Neal made a critical defensive stop on a 2-on-1 breakaway by Middle Creek.
Coming into the game, Broughton had only given up one goal in the playoffs - off a penalty kick by Apex. But Middle Creek crowded the box on throw-ins, and scored again midway through the first half off a long throw-in to take a 1-2 lead.
While Middle Creek made the most of its scoring chances in the first half, Broughton missed high or wide on several opportunities in the final few minutes of the first half. At halftime, the Caps were trailing 1-2.
The two teams traded possession for the first nine minutes of the second half before senior defender Jack Krueger hit a bullet of a shot into the net from about 25 yards out to tie the score at 2-2.
About three minutes later, Brickhouse headed the ball over the reach of the onrushing Middle Creek keeper and then finished the shot into the back of the net to put Broughton ahead for the first time in the game, 3-2.
Middle Creek may have had its best chance to get back in the game less than a minute later, when the ball appeared to be heading into the goal off a corner kick before Krueger blocked it with his chest to the foot of junior defender Hyu A, who cleared the ball out of harm's way.
Broughton held on for the game's final few minutes to earn the 3-2 win before a large home crowd. The Caps will play New Hanover at Broughton Tuesday night (time to be determined) for a chance to advance to the state championship game. Go Caps!
|The scorers (left to right): Brandon Gettinger, Jack Krueger, Matt Brickhouse|