Crusaders get first soccer win since 2014

HCA coach: Believing first step

It was total pandemonium on Tuesday afternoon for the soccer program at Harrells Christian Academy as they won their first game in two years.

Stancil Bowles, a sophomore center fielder who leads by example, led his team scoring three goals in the second half. Zack Fussell, a junior, also scored two goals to give the team their first win of the season, 5-1 over Liberty Christian Academy.

Goalie Seth Harrell also had an amazing afternoon with nine saves. Coach Aaron Smith is in his first year at the helm of the Harrells soccer program, also serving as director of life study and teaching a World History class. Previously he served as a head coach for the East Duplin junior varsity team for two years and is a 2010 graduate of East Duplin.

When coming to Harrells, the soccer team was winless in the previous two seasons, so he knew he had his work cut out for him.

“A few weeks ago we lost 10-1 to Freedom Christian Academy and the following day, prior to practice, the team and I had a long talk. I told them we had the ability to win. It’s a mindset,” Smith recalled. “We have to believe in ourselves and each other, working harder and smarter at practice. The first step in winning is believing they can win.”

“We’ve also changed the formation and moved some players around. This caused our players to play more aggressive.”

Smith went on to say that he’s very proud of how the team played and responded after falling behind 1-0 early.

“I’m also proud of their hard work and toughness. They are a good group of guys to coach and are willing to buy into the program in the last two weeks,” the coach stated. “I’m especially happy for our seniors Billy Prestage, Holden Quinn and Chance Bryant — it’s their first win since becoming a Crusader.”

“Hopefully we can surprise some teams the rest of the way,” concluded Smith.

The Crusaders are now 1-4 overall and their next home game is at 4:30 p.m. Sept. 8.

HCA coach: Believing first step
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