Wesleyan falls 2-1 against GDS
Despite improved play by Wesleyan Christian Academy, Greensboro Day School again had just a bit of an edge.
The top-ranked Bengals scored the first two goals of the game — once in the first half, once early in the second — and held on late in beating the second-ranked Trojans 2-1 in a meeting of NCISAA 3A powers at Wesleyan.
“I thought we played Wesleyan soccer tonight,” Wesleyan coach Scott Reitnour said. “... I felt like tonight we were a bit more composed and, stylistically, played the way we play, whereas last time nerves got the best of us. I feel like we made strides in the right direction, and I feel like we have a good picture of how we match up with Greensboro Day.”
Janse Schermerhorn scored both goals and David Stern dished both assists for Greensboro Day (17-2-2, 9-0 PACIS), which also won the previous meeting 1-0 on Sept. 24. Andrew Moebius scored for the Trojans (16-2-2, 5-2-1 PACIS) off an assist by Cooper Robbins to pull within a goal.
Schermerhorn’s goal with 11:41 left in the first half gave the Bengals the advantage after an even start. Stern won the ball amid a crowd on the right side near midfield and played a long through ball to the box where Schermerhorn was there to quickly boot it past the goalkeeper to put them ahead.
"So much of it is the rivalry — and it's a friendly one," Greensboro Day coach Taylor Johnson said. "There's just so much invested, and a lot of it goes way back before any of us were here. All that goes into it. So, when you fall behind, it's almost more weight, because they worry about hearing about it from their buddies at school.
"It's just the reality of it," he said with a laugh. "And, from a soccer standpoint, (the Trojans) are really dangerous. They're good going forward, and they're capable of creating chances. ... So, getting the early one and, in this case, two is huge against a team that is really good moving forward."
Carrying the 1-0 lead into halftime, the Bengals scored again with 33:58 left in the second half. Stern played a long ball on the left side to Schermerhorn, who made a move around his defender and fired a high, hard shot into the net for a 2-0 lead.
Wesleyan, however, pushed hard in the final 20 minutes. Off a corner kick, Robbins redirected the ball in the box to Moebius, who was right in front to kick it in with 19:39 left. The Trojans had a couple dangerous looks in the final minutes but were not able to connect.
Even with the losses against Greensboro Day, Wesleyan has still its sights set on contending for its third straight NCISAA 3A championship (both previous wins coming against the Bengals). And, with much of the season complete, it has a good sense of what it needs to do in the weeks ahead.
“I feel like, with some teams I’ve had here at Wesleyan, it’s been very important for us psychologically to lock down the top seed in the state tournament,” Reitnour said. “But I feel like with this group the seeding is inconsequential for us. I don’t think that’ll matter one bit.
“On any given day we can beat any team in the private schools. And on any day we can lose. But I feel like we’re solid enough that if we focus on playing the way we play, then we should be able to move forward with healthy chances in the playoffs.”
In goal, Connor Bell made one save for the Trojans, who next play Friday at home against Forsyth Country Day. Nick Peterson made eight for Greensboro Day.