After making some of its own, history finally repeated itself on the part of Langtree Charter Academy’s boys soccer team.
Using consecutive-round upsets for the deepest advancement ever for the Lions program in N.C. High School Athletic Association 1A class postseason play, their season drew to a close in the course of third-round action equivalent to the West Region’s elite eight and state’s sweet 16 playoff phase.
Facing off against fellow PAC-7 Conference rival and host Community School of Davidson for a third time this season alone, Langtree ultimately suffered the same fate — albeit via vastly different verdict — as each of the previous pair following a 2-1 defeat rendered in overtime under bone-chilling playing conditions.
As a result, Langtree — also making one of if not in fact the longest-lasting existence in postseason play than any other varsity-level program in the school’s athletic department history — completed what still amounts to the most successful season ever with a 14-11-1 record.
The Lions owned the No. 17 seeded status within their region and collected back-to-back wins over higher-seeded foes highlighted by a startling stunning of the then No.1-ranked Polk County entry to book passage as deep as third-round play.
There, LCA matched up opposite a No.8 seed Community School of Davidson squad seeking to preserve its favored status for the right to advance on in postseason play.
The meeting marked the third showdown to take place between the same-circuit opponents this season after also squaring off during a home-and-home season series within PAC-7 Conference play.
Langtree faced huge odds from the outset after being defeated by scores of 9-0 and 4-1, respectively, during the two regular-season meetings with the rival Spartans.
In the third bout carrying the most meaning of all, matters took a completely different turn. The two teams battled on matching scoreless terms throughout the first 40 minutes of play to welcome the warmth of a halftime break knotted in the tie.
Following the intermission, both teams against mirrored one another when bagging solo strikes apiece as well.
For the Lions, they gathered in what proved to be their lone on-target tally of the night thanks to an unassisted goal from freshman combination sweeper/midfielder Jose Noriega.
With matters pushed into overtime, neither team was able to scratch during the initial 10-minute period constituting half the OT period before Langtree was victimized by what proved to be the game-winning goal during the second timed extra session. That tally prevented the five-minute golden goal equivalent of sudden-death to be held.
All the while, a busy night in the Langtree goal found senior keeper and team co-captain Josh Allen chalking up 20 saves to help keep the Lions in contention throughout.
The contest pitted two of the total of four teams hailing from the PAC-7 circuit advancing as deep as the playoff’s third round against each other to provide proof of the league’s power surge in the sport of soccer.
As it turned out, though, only one of them in the form of victorious Community School of Davidson earned the right to reach fourth-round play serving as the West Region semifinals.
Still, the historic season taking place on the part of Langtree Charter made it one to remember.
“I would be lying if I told you that I expected us to make it this far,’’ said Billy Hendrix, the Lions head coach. “We just got hot at the right time. It’s a testament of just how strong our league is that so many of the teams made it to the third round. The bad thing about that, though, is that we wound up knocking out each other. We have nothing to be upset about. This is just a stepping stone for our program.”