By Bria Irizarry
Happy September, Cavs fans! We are back from our first-week-of-school hiatus, and this week’s Performance of the Week is brought to you by the Durham Academy varsity boys soccer team!
DA boys soccer earned a 1–0 victory over North Raleigh Christian Academy (NRCA) on Tuesday night after senior Diego Pastor-Valverde slipped a penalty kick past the goalkeeper late in golden-goal overtime.
⚽️ Footage of the game-winning PK from Pastor-Valverde pic.twitter.com/5N091fV5Ea— Durham Academy Athletics (@daathletics) September 1, 2021
The Cavs maintained possession of the ball for the majority of the second half and had numerous opportunities on goal in the last five minutes of regulation, but they could not finish. Ultimately, Pastor-Valverde capitalized off a Knights handball in the box to give DA the 1–0 advantage. In addition, junior Collin Thornburg led the defensive effort and added four saves, while senior captains Charlie Rand and Charles McCain stopped any offensive opportunities for the Knights.
Pastor-Valverde is proud of the way the team has come together early in the season.
“I think that working as a team has led to our successes so far this year,” he said. “We have had a very deep bench that has allowed us to make changes. When these players get on the field, they leave their mark on the game and contribute a lot to the team.”
This is the third overtime game for the team this season and the second win, as the last overtime game vs. Charlotte Country Day resulted in a 2–1 loss. Penalty kicks seem to be a strong pillar of DA boys soccer, as it also defeated Wesleyan Christian Academy in penalty kicks (4–2) on Aug. 14.
Head coach Julian Cochran feels that the team’s experience in overtime games will benefit it.
“These overtime wins are helping us develop the trust in our ability to be competitive and win these tight games,” he said. “I’m looking forward to watching the team continue to grow and work to better understand how to be more dangerous in the attacking third of the field.”
So far this season, the Cavs have had five different goal scorers — seniors Larkin Ng Cashin, Lars Oehler, Stephen Lamb and Pastor-Valverde, as well as sophomore James Robb. Tuesday night’s victory propels DA boys soccer to a 3–1 record overall this season, earning a second-place standing in the Triangle Independent Schools Athletic Conference (TISAC) and a ninth-place ranking in the state according to maxpreps.com.
Ng Cashin believes the Cavs can make a big impact in the conference.
“I am excited to see what we can do in the future,” he said. “Everyone just has to stay focused and keep the intensity up and then I think this team has a really good shot.”
Keeping Up with the Cavs
As always, you can keep up with the Cavs on Durham Academy’s website and the Durham Academy App (available on the Apple App Store).
- For a list of all teams, their schedules and directions to games, visit www.da.org/teams.
- Click on an individual team to subscribe to automatic alerts about athletics results, postponements and cancellations, calendar and athletic event reminders. You can also import team schedules into your electronic calendars.
- All information about the daily athletics schedule is also available on DA’s Athletics Hotline: 919-489-2534 (ext. 5).
The DA App: Schedules and Results
- The DA App allows you to keep up with athletics wherever you are. You can download the app from iTunes at http://bit.ly/DACavaliers. The DA App pulls athletics content directly from the DA website and delivers it to iOS-based devices including iPhone and iPad.
- The Athletics portion of the DA App (after launching, click Menu, then click Athletics to open) features results of recent games, a list of upcoming contests and team records.