HIGH SCHOOL BOYS SOCCER: Western Alamance nips Hickory for 3A state title


CARY – After a tightly played opening 75 minutes with relatively few chances for either side on Friday night, Western Alamance High managed to generate a forward attack that drew a penalty kick.

Ian Bacchus made no mistake with the shot from the penalty spot in the 76th minute, slotting the ball low in the left side to put the Warriors up 1-0 over Hickory en route to winning the state 3A boys’ soccer championship.

Bacchus drew the penalty after Gael Villegas-Duran found some space on the right side of the Hickory box. Villegas-Duran slipped a pass through two Tornadoes defenders to the top of the penalty area. As Bacchus tried to split the defenders, he was upended in the area and forcing the referee to point to the spot.

Bacchus then took the penalty after drawing the foul. His speed proved a threat throughout the night, forcing Hickory defenders to collapse to him and opening lanes for other Warriors attackers.

The goal was Bacchus’ 22nd goal of the season and cemented his selection as the MVP of the state title match.

Hickory managed 12 shots, but only one of them got through the Warriors defense on frame, forcing goalkeeper Spencer Dee to make his only save of the night.

Orlando Almanza headed the ball towards the frame on a loose ball in the edge of the Warriors’ penalty area, requiring the save from Dee.

Hickory finished 22-4-1. The Red Tornadoes were 11-2-1 and won a Western Foothills 3A title, then won Hickory its fifth West crown.

Hickory had not played in the state title match since 2012.

Western Alamance finished 19-5-1. The Warriors were 9-2-1 in the Central 3A and were in the state title match for the second time.

The North Carolina High School Athletic Association (NCHSAA)

Recognized Robbie Simpson of Western Alamance and Nick Hutto of Hickory with sportsmanship awards.

Note: Information for this story was provided by the NCHSAA.

MORE MATCH DETAILS: 2021 3A MSOC State Championship – Western Alamance 1 – Hickory 0


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