RALEIGH, N.C – First Flight came in to the 2A Men’s Soccer State Championship Match riding high off of a 3-1 win over Carrboro in the regional finals, they kept that momentum moving right through the Championship match. The Nighthawks netted a goal in the 7th minute as Quinn Douglas knocked home a rebound giving First Flight a 1-0 lead they would never relinquish on their way to the first Soccer State Championship in school history.
The Nighthawks’ journey was not one without adversity. Just 15 minutes into the regional final against Carrboro, starting goal keeper Grayson Shier broke his clavicle, ending his season. Sophomore Wilmer Andino stepped in to finish out the game against Carrboro, allowing just one goal in the 3-1 win, and securing a bid to the state finals.
With Andino making his first Varsity start, the Nighthawks got out on the front foot early with Douglas goal and followed it up with another rebound goal, this one by Vega Sproul in the 27th minute, giving First Flight a 2-0 lead.
Game M.V.P. Tommy Scott added two second half markers to put the game out of reach. He scored off of a rebound in minute 44, and then broke into the box and slipped one under the diving Trojan goal keeper in the 59th minute to push the lead to 4-0.
Andino was tested several times, making a single save in the first half to keep the game scoreless early. He made one other routine save, but late in the match, Chase earned a free kick at the corner edge of the 18-yard box. Luis Vasquez for the Trojans stepped up to take the kick and curled a ball off his right foot that looked ticketed for the upper-right corner of the goal before a diving Andino parried away for a corner, sealing his shut out and first clean sheet of his career.
Chase finished the season at 22-2, 15-1 in conference play as champions of the South Mountain Athletic 3A Conference. First Flight concluded year 12 for head coach Juan Ramirez with his first state championship and a 21-0-2 record.