The Lincolnton Wolves picked up a pair of wins at home this week to move into sole possession of third place in the South Fork 2A standings.
The Wolves saw an early lead slip away by halftime, but responed with a pair of second-half goals to rally for a 3-2 victory over Lake Norman Charter at home Monday night.
The Wolves (8-3, 4-2 SF2A) controlled much of the possession in the early going, but settled for shots from outside the box.
Then, about 10 minutes into the game, Lincolnton worked the ball in on goal. Miscommunication between the Lake Norman Charter goalkeeper and his back line of defenders left the net wide open and the ball free in front of the goal for senior striker Francisco Rodriguez, who capitalized on the mistake with a goal to put the Wolves on top 1-0.
Lincolnton’s lead was short-lived, however, as Lake Norman Charter answered right back with a goal of its own less than two minutes later to tie the game at 1-1. The Knights would strike again with 15 minutes remaining in the first half, when a long cross into the box found the head of a Lake Norman Charter forward, who redirected the ball on goal for a 2-1 lead.
The frustration was noticeable on the faces of the Wolves’ players when the halftime whistle blew, but head coach Juan Pena and his team regrouped during the intermission and came out with a renewed focus in the second half.
Like the first half, it took Lincolnton about 10 minutes to break through in the second half. The game-tying goal came off a high bounce, with Lincolnton striker Mason Whitaker whipping a rocket shot that deflected off the Lake Norman Charter goalkeeper and rolled into the goal to knot the game once again at 2-2.
Then, with the Lincolnton faithful still celebrating the previous goal, the Wolves added what would prove to be the game-winner just seconds later. Rodriguez picked his way through the defense and rifled a shot into the back of the net for his second goal of the game.
With each team tied for third in the league, the Wolves welcomed North Lincoln to Lincolnton Wednesday night.
The game remained deadlocked at 0-0 at halftime, and with each side searching for answers, it was the Wolves who were able to crack the code of North Lincoln's defense in the second half. After tying the game against Lake Norman Charter Monday, it was Whitaker who came up with a big goal for Lincolnton once again Wednesday.
The star of Wednesday's match, however, was sophomore goalkeeper Samuel Carpenter, who recorded 10 saves to notch his 4th clean sheet of the season.
After opening South Fork 2A play with losses to East Lincoln and Newton-Convoer - two of the top teams in the state - Lincolnton has won four straight. The Wolves will welcome Maiden to Lincolnton Monday night prior to Wednesday's rematch against Newton-Conover.