News from Wilson

It’s over, and I found a power outlet, so let’s put a bow on Fayetteville Academy’s 1-0 win over Fayetteville Christian.

It wasn’t a thrill ride, but it was hard-nosed and physical. The kind of game you might expect on a Friday night on a football field.

Ferrell’s free kick as brilliant. I don’t know how it didn’t go in. The Eagle defense was as strong as U.S. Steel, as James Morgan and Charles Smith man-marked Daniel Dahnke and Robert Sandidge for most of the day, allowing them little room to do much on offense.

It was a great win for the academy, and the fan support on both sides was great.

Thanks for a good show, guys.

To see my sure-to-be-edited story, click below…

By Randy Capps
Community Sports Editor

WILSON – Fayetteville Christian and Fayetteville Academy clashed for the third time on the soccer field Friday afternoon in at the J. Burt Gillette Athletic Complex.

And this time, a berth in the state finals was on the line in a North Carolina Independent Schools Athletic Association 2A playoff match.

After 80 minutes of what might best be described as stalemate soccer, Jack Ward slammed home the lone goal of the day two minutes into the first overtime period to give Fayetteville Academy the 1-0 victory over the top-seeded Warriors.

The Eagles (13-4-4) will meet either Caldwell Academy or High Point Christian for the state championship today at 4:30.

“Defensively, we were really solid today,” Fayetteville Academy coach Andrew McCarthy said. “That’s something we were really concentrating on. Our defenders today did a good job today.

“It was a good game, a good battle game. But, I suppose as a neutral, it wasn’t that exciting. I thought in the other games we played against them, the quality of the soccer was better. But semifinals and finals are always like that. Fayetteville Christian is a great team. Very well coached, very well organized. They’ve got some good players and they were totally deserving of a No. 1 seed.”

The Warriors end their season at 17-2-1.

“I think both teams worked hard,” FCS coach Matt Sadler said. “It’s unfortunate. I wish we had met in the final game. (It was just) two great teams. I think Mac and the Academy did a great job. They deserved to win it.”

With the stakes as high as they were on Friday, tentative, defensive soccer is often the result.

The fans who made the trek up I-95 got that in spades as both sides clogged their respective halves of the field, played physical defense and waited for a chance to break on the counter attack.

Those chances were in short supply for much of the match.

The best chance for a goal came 32 minutes into the match when Warrior forward Daniel Dahnke broke free for one of the few times all day and fired on goal. The ball squibbed by Eagle keeper Sam Williams, but James Morgan was there to clear the ball away from danger.

In the 36th minute, Matt Christian drew a foul against FCS at the top of the Warrior penalty area. Jackson Ferrell stepped up and bent a beautiful strike that beat the wall and the keeper, but not the right post as it clanged away.

The first half didn’t feature much else in the way of real chances for either side, and the second half played out in much the same way.

Fayetteville Christian had a chance to win the match, however, in the 79th minute as Robert Sandidge broke free at the top of the box and rifled a right-footed shot towards the lower left corner. Williams dove and pushed the ball past the post to keep the game level.

After a short break, the rivals started extra time. Just two minutes in, a bit of magic made all the difference.

Eagle midfielder Dominic Cusi took an outlet pass from his own defensive third and turned up field. Ward was streaking towards the Warrior goal, a step ahead of his marker, but well onside.

Cusi sent in the pass, which skimmed between the legs of the defender, on to the feet of the senior striker. Ward took a touch and then blistered a shot from just inside the box that sailed into the top of the net.

“Eight years, I’ve been involved with (these games),” McCarthy said. “It’s just a war of attrition. Who gets that one lucky break, that one good through pass, who gets that one good finish? We were just lucky that it was us today.”

FCS threw players forward to try to tie the score in the closing moments, but the Eagles held on for the win.

Contact Randy Capps at or 323-4848, ext. 354.


11 Responses to “News from Wilson”

  1. fcs fan Says:

    hold your head down……….pass the hat………..then the envelope………thats how it ended. I hope the well represented team will win the state.

  2. Nickelo Says:

    Do not understand the post “fcs”. Could you clarify your blog entry for a fan of today’s crowned state champions.

  3. Mani Em Says:

    What a beautiful day for soccer! A hard fought state championship game as a topper to a great season! Thanks to Caldwell for the awesome sportsmanship- the mark of a veritable competitor.

  4. darron ward Says:

    Hi Randy
    Its Darron Ward the father of Jack ward who plays for Fayetteville Academy ( soccer). Its Jacks 1st season in America having just arrived in July 08 from Newcastle England.
    So I still live in Newcastle England and miss all of Jacks games for obvious reasons.
    All of my family have really enjoyed your “write ups” in the Observer and would like to thank you for your commentry of the matches – we have enjoyed them very much.
    So keep up the good work and we are all looking forward to your article about the final.
    Jack called us at Midnight on Saturday to tell us that Fayetteville were state champs – both he and us were elated !! Its hard being a soccer nut dad in another continent !!

  5. Nickelo Says:

    I have a 9th grade son that plays on the team and having gotten to know Jack the Academy is lucky to have him in our presence. You have reared a delightful, polite, educated and fun to be around young man. Thanks for sharing him with us.

  6. darron ward Says:

    Hello Nickelo
    Thank you very much for your kind comments. They mean a lot to both me and his mam ( as we say in Newcastle England )
    Jack enjoys the Academy very much and it is people like you and your son who are making Jack feel at home.
    Up the Toon !! never mind Maccas boro !

  7. darron ward Says:

    OK bet is on.
    Great result for the Toon last night. I would have took a draw last night.
    Martins was unplayable and Coloccini quality.
    Kinnear has got them going well – he has generated team spirit which is important when things are not going well.
    Big One on the 9th Randy !!!
    How did you come to support Fulham ??
    Dempsey actually has a better goal scoring record than Zamora – Hodgson bought Zamora !!
    Up the Toon !!!

  8. Randy Capps Says:

    I think it was the whole Fulhamerica thing. That, and last year’s escape act.

    I’ve got to say, Newcastle’s looking good. I’m getting a little worried…


  9. darron ward Says:

    Did not take Barton long to press the self destruct button.
    A talent that just cant be controlled or harnessed – January should see him go, but who would buy him.
    Villareal ( your other team ) did well last night and look good to qualify.
    So – any predictions for the Fulham v Toon game ??
    I will settle for an away point – it would be nice to get another win though.
    Michael Owen might find his “heart” and consider playing. He knows the medical staff better than he knows his team mates !!
    Up the Toon !!

  10. Randy Capps Says:

    Fulham could really use a win, but on recent form, I’d be happy with a point.

    I just can’t figure out why Hodgson won’t play Dempsey over Zamora. Maybe he’ll have a change of heart on Sunday.

    I’m excited that I’ll get to see it, as Fox Soccer Channel is carrying the game live. I still can’t get my wife to agree to spend $15 a month on Setanta, which is the other outlet for Prem games here in the U.S.

  11. darron ward Says:

    Crazy thing is if Newcastle win their next 2 games they will be in a Euro spot ( early days I know )
    I think a point a piece is pretty much on the cards.
    As I said earlier Hodgson bought Zamora so he will feel obliged to play him. Hodgson has a habit of playing his signings through “thick & thin” – he did it at Blackburn & Inter.
    Setanta is good for sport – soccer and cage rage !!
    Love It
    Toon Army are on the march !!!

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