The News and Observer from Raleigh, North Carolina on November 13, 2016 · A5
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The News and Observer from Raleigh, North Carolina · A5

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Sunday, November 13, 2016
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A5
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C M Y K C M Y K + + SUNDAY NOVEMBER 13 2016 EASTERN WAKE NEWS 5ASportsEASTERNWAKENEWS.COM FACEBOOK.COM/EASTERNWAKENEWS » TWITTER.COM/EASTERNWAKENEWS WENDELL East Wake’s storybook season began with a loss to Broughton, but it cer- tainly won’t end that way. Instead, the upstart Warriors continued their unexpected surge with a 3-2 home victory over the tradition-rich Caps in Tuesday’s second round of the N.C. High School Athletic Association 4A boys soccer playoffs at Johnny Sasser Stadium. East Wake, seeded third, will carry a 16-6-2 record into Thursday’s third-round matchup at home versus Wilmington’s Ashley High. The 11th- seeded Caps, who reached the fourth round of the postseason in 2015, closed at 15-7-2 under first-year head coach Craig Bran- nan. “This was probably one of the biggest wins in the soccer history of our school,” said East Wake senior defender Garrett Johnson. The Warriors weren’t considered a potential deep playoff threat before the season – and did noth- ing early on to dispel that notion. East Wake started with an opening setback against the Caps, albeit by a tight one-goal margin. The Warriors dropped three of their first four matches before getting off to a slow start in Greater Neuse River Conference play. But coach Jon Has- brouck’s club hasn’t lost in regulation since Sept. 7, and East Wake has rattled off nine consecutive tri- umphs – a stretch that helped the Warriors wrap up the GNRC crown in comeback fashion. “We are vastly im- proved since the begin- ning of the season,” said Warriors’ senior forward Vicente Gallardo, who offered two goals and one assist as part of Tuesday’s victory. “Once we saw what we were capable of as a team, our work ethic just kept getting better.” Still, it was a leap of faith for the Warriors to believe they could topple Broughton, which boasts state championships in 2006 and 2007 as part of its strong boys soccer resumé. But East Wake gained some confidence when Gallardo took a throw-in from Khadeem Dublin and headed the ball into the net at the 29:58 mark of the opening half. Just over 13 minutes later, Gallardo gained possession on a two-on- one and made a nifty pass to Elvin Lazo, whose redi- rect pushed the Warriors ahead by a stunning 2-0 margin. East Wake added to its cushion just over 11 min- utes into the second half off a set piece from 40 yards out as Johnson sent a ball into the box, where Gallardo once again used his size for a header that touched the twine to give the Warriors a command- ing three-goal advantage. The expected Broughton push finally came over the final 20 minutes, thanks in part to some strong mid- field work, especially from Abdulle Ibrahim. But East Wake’s Migel Valdivia came up with a series of saves before the Caps broke through with goals from Max Varani and Lucas Beeson over the closing minute. The last goal from Vara- ni came at the 22-second mark, so the Caps didn’t have time to get another quality scoring opportuni- ty for the potential equal- PREP SOCCER: EAST WAKE 3, BROUGHTON 2 Gallardo’s monster game leads East Wake into third round BY GEOFF NEVILLE Correspondent SEE GALLARDO, 6A There’s going to be even more new in the Carolina League when the 2017 season begins next April, especially locally. The Carolina Mudcats announced Friday that they would become an affiliate of the Milwaukee Brewers, signing a two- year player development contract with the National League Central Division squad. “Having met with the Brewers, and in looking at their system, we are confi- dent that we are getting an organization that is loaded with young, talented pro- spects that we feel will enhance our program” said Carolina Mudcats President and Majority Owner Steve Bryant in a statement. “We are very impressed with the Brew- ers in that they share with us a desire to develop young talent at the Minor League level.” Milwaukee’s new player development contract with the Mudcats marks the club’s first such agree- ment with a Carolina League franchise. The Brewers had previously been affiliated with the High-A Florida State League’s Brevard County Manatees from 2005-16. They were also affiliated with the High-A California League (Stockton, Mud- ville, High Desert) from 1990-2004. “The Brewers are excit- ed to announce a part- nership with Steve Bryant and the Carolina Mud- cats,” said Brewers Gener- al Manager David Stearns. “The organization is com- mitted to developing young talent and we strongly believe that the Mudcats will help us achieve that goal. We look forward to working with our new partner in the Carolina League.” It is the seventh time the Mudcats — which have played both Double-A and Single-A ball — have changed affiliations since their arrival in North Car- olina after Bryant, a John- ston County native, bought the team and moved it from Georgia to the eastern Triangle area. The Mudcats have fea- tured players from the Pirates, Rockies, Marlins, Reds, Indians and Braves previously in their 27-year history. The Brewers are a or- ganization on the rise, according to Baseball America’s minor league system talent rankings. Milwaukee was ninth in all of pro baseball entering the 2016 season, having moved up each year in the rankings since 2011. Milwaukee’s lower mi- nor leagues featured a group of strong outfielders this past season, led by Trent Clark, Monte Harri- son and Corey Ray. The Braves, who have PHOTOS COURTESY OF NIKOLAUS JOHNSON Representatives of the Milwaukee Brewers talk with Carolina Mudcats President and majority owner Steve Bryant (at far right), Mudcats Vice President and General Manager Joe Kremer (center) and General Manager of Operations Eric Gardner (second from left) on the field at Five County Stadium. BASEBALL Carolina Mudcats to be Brewers affiliate in 2017 BY D. CLAY BEST cbest@newsobserver.com Representatives of the Milwaukee Brewers and the Carolina Mudcats go over their new player development agreement at Five County Stadium. SEE MUDCATS, 6A RALEIGH The Knightdale boys soccer team ran out of surprises Tuesday. After upsetting higher- seeded Cape Fear three days earlier, the Knights couldn’t overcome an early two-goal deficit en route to a 4-2 loss to host Millbrook in a N.C. High School Athletic Associ- ation 4A second-round match. Four different players scored goals for the fourth-seeded Wildcats (19-4-1), who will visit top-seeded Green Hope on Thursday in the 4A East third round. No. 12-seeded Knightdale, which edged fifth-seeded Cape Fear, 1-0, in a first- round match on Saturday, finishes 14-7-3. “We knew going into the game we were the underdog,” Knightdale coach Aaron Steele said. “I just tried to make sure we had zero pressure. We were just going to give them everything we had.” Millbrook did its part from the onset to quell any ideas of a Knightdale upset, striking quickly for the match’s first goal when Harrison Clark’s long throw-in from the left sideline was headed into the right side of the net by Michael Pasca in traffic to put the Wildcats up 1-0 just 5 minutes, 40 seconds into play. Zack Thomas made it 2-0 later in the first half, scoring on a header off a corner kick from Matt Bulmer with 11:45 remain- ing. “Early goals are great for us, it’s great for confi- dence but also helps with our game plan,” Millbrook coach Matt Edwards said. “We want to possess the ball and control the flow SEE KDALE, 6A PREP SOCCER: MILLBROOK 4, KNIGHTDALE 2 Millbrook ends Knights’ season BY MIKE MANGAN Correspondent SANFORD Lee County played the role of prohibitive favorite perfectly in the second round of the N.C. High School Athletic Associ- ation boys soccer playoffs Tuesday night. Corinth Holders, meanwhile, did its best to break out of the underdog spot. But it wasn’t enough to knock off the Yellow Jackets, who took a 3-2 victory at Paul Gay Stadium. The 2015 state finalists built a pair of two-goal leads — one in each half — and made the plays to hold onto the lead each time the Pirates cut the margin to a goal. The Yellow Jackets (23-3-0) will play at Swansboro (21-3-1) for the second consecutive year in the playoffs on Thursday. Lee County won 3-1 last year, but graduated 13 seniors from that squad. “It’s all about one-goal games,” said Corinth Holders coach Brent Wal- ston. “We were down a man with two seconds left and we were this close to finding a way to get by the goalie. We’ve just got to find something to get us over that hump of the second round.” Corinth Holders, the Two Rivers 3A Conference co-champion, finishes the season with a 16-6-2 mark. It was the sixth consecutive year the Pi- rates have won a playoff match, but five of those 3A SOCCER, SECOND ROUND: LEE COUNTY 3, CORINTH HOLDERS 2 Lee County clips Corinth Holders boys soccer in 3A playoffs BY D. CLAY BEST cbest@newsobserver.com SEE PIRATES, 6A DON BEARD newsobserver.com Alex Restrepo (12) of Corinth Holders attempts to control the ball against Lee County’s Elis Carrillo (21).

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