Game Summaries & Headlines.
- Game Date
- Aug 15, 2016
- RAPTORS: 7
CHATHAM CHARTER: 0
CARY -- The three leading scorers from last year's 16-6-1 squad, lost to graduation. The only starting goalkeeper the program has ever known, also off to college. A new coach. Eleven newcomers, nine of whom are freshmen.
On paper, the Research Triangle boys' soccer team should be facing a transitional year. On Monday night, they may have put some of those thoughts at least temporarily to rest, as the Raptors' new era began with a 7-0 drubbing of non-conference foe Chatham Charter at Thomas Brooks Park.
Junior forward Jacob Harter, a role player for his first two years, made the most of his first career start by scoring his first career goal in the match's opening minutes; he would add another before the half would end. Sophomore midfielder Alex Hidden also netted his first-ever goal early in the match, and goals by juniors Bennett Hudson and Jayden Itejere rounded out the first half's scoring for the Raptors (1-0). Itejere and freshman Joseph Patton would find the net in the second half to set the winning margin.
"The offense has done a good job building a rapport with each other over the past two years," new head coach Jay Liotta said after the game. "Jayden, Bennett, Travis [Barker], and Nathan [LaFauci] do a great job of finding each other out there, and Harter's speed has given us a real boost up top."
Aside from having to replace all-conference goalkeeper Matt Madden, the defense came into the 2016 campaign with fewer question marks than the offense. The familiar back line of seniors Sebastian Pleasants, Jadyn Asamoah, and Dylan Burns - joined by freshman Ben Abbott - stymied the Knights' (0-1) offense throughout the game, taking a large bit of the load off of freshman keeper Chandler Frye, who only had to make four saves to record a shutout in his high school debut.
The Raptors will host Falls Lake Academy in their NCAC opener on Wednesday night at Mills Park; kickoff is set for 6:00 p.m.