Berk, Husky Soccer Roll in Home Opener

By: Chris Long

Last year Heritage varsity soccer started off the season with a loss to Apex, but this year the Huskies wouldn’t allow it. Opening the season at home against Panther Creek the Huskies (1-0), led by a hat trick from Trevor Berk, defeated Panther Creek (0-1) 4-2 on a warm muggy Monday night to begin the season on the right foot.

A little under 12 minutes after the starting whistle Trevor Berk found himself near the penalty shot line with the ball. He settled it down and fired, the ball rang off the cross bar and into the net over the outstretched arms of Grant Stidham the Panther Creek starting goalkeeper.

The Huskies were able to hold on to the lead until a little over 7 minutes remained in the first half when Jayden Cross of Panther Creek pulled Huskies goalkeeper Joe Adgate out of the net, got passed him and scored.

The score remained tied for the rest of the half and that’s when Coach Sloan said the game turned. “I thought our intensity was really slow in the first half, I thought we were a step behind but I thought we picked it up in the second half.”

That increased intensity led to a 3-1 Heritage lead 15 minutes into the second half, with both goals coming off the foot of Trevor Berk. “Trevor is very controlled, he is very surgical inside the 18 {yard} box, and he does enough to create open space and create good shooting lanes and he did a very good job tonight,” said Sloan. “Three goals, he’s probably the leader in the state right now,” he added with a chuckle.

Less than 10 minutes after Berk made it 3-1, junior Jummy Findlen tallied the Husky’s fourth goal off of a corner from Gabe Mercer. Panther Creek added a second goal of their own with about 10 minutes left, but the Huskies hung on to the 4-2 lead as time expired.

Hector Orpeza was also a large part of the victory tonight and while his name does not appear in the scoresheet he had many high quality chances and Coach Sloan liked his energy. “Hector’s energy level tonight was phenomenal, I think when Hector wasn’t on the field our energy level dropped, Hector absolutely contributed to the game,” Sloan said.

The offense was not the only part of the victory that looked solid for the Huskies, senior goalkeeper Joe Adgate also looked good making 6 saves in the victory. “I think Joe is rock solid”, said Coach Sloan, “Joe is far more confident coming off of his line, he’s reading angles much better this year, and I think he is playing with really good senior confidence.”

The Huskies will now head out to Jacksonville, NC for the Battle at the Beach tournament this weekend. They will begin play Friday at 4:00pm and will take on the Jacksonville High School Cardinals who play their first game of the season tomorrow night.