Time ran out on Charlotte Catholic’s heroic comeback effort in the N.C. High School Athletic Association 4A championship on Friday night at WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary.
The Apex Cougars held off Charlotte Catholic’s Cougars 7-6 in a rematch of last year’s championship.
Catholic (20-3) had won last year’s championship 11-8 and this year’s regular-season meeting 8-5, but Apex (20-2) ended the season on a 15-game winning streak.
Apex’s Nick Greco, who had his team’s final goal – a breakaway with four minutes, 43 seconds left – was named MVP. He was also guarding some of Catholic’s top scorers in a hectic final minute.
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Catholic was down 4-1 at halftime, but not for lack of effort: It had controlled possession and outshot Apex 17-6. Apex changed goalies at halftime.
Catholic cut the lead to one goal twice in the second half, including with just 1:52 to go in the game. It won the ball back after the ensuing faceoff and called timeout, but the next few shots sprayed just wide.
Catholic’s goals were scored by Seamus Byrne (two), Jackson Harris (one), Ryan Young (one), Ian Baker (one) and Robbie Wallon (one goal, one assist). Zak Butz had one assist. Before the game, Catholic’s Ryan Young and Apex’s Allen Moore were given NCHSAA sportsmanship awards.