Thank you for being one of our most loyal readers. Please consider supporting community journalism by subscribing.
In the final minutes of the Neuse River Futbol Alliance Cup championship game Monday, a brother-to-brother combo helped the Corinth Holders soccer team close out a win over Clayton.
Caught in a 1-1 tie in overtime against the Comets, David and Michael Edge teamed up on a crucial corner kick as David scored the game-winning goal en route to Offensive MVP honors.
In a game where goals were hard to come by, the Pirates were aided on a deciding corner kick by a blood connection between the brothers, who unlike everyone else on the field, have played soccer together their whole lives.
On the eventual game-winning play, Michael Edge took the corner kick and launched the ball toward the box and into a scrum of Clayton defenders and hopeful attacking Pirates. As the ball flew, Michael’s older brother David Edge started his run to the goal. After the ball was headed twice by teammates, it feel at the feet of David.
“I saw him making the run,” Michael Edge explained after the award ceremony, standing alongside his brother. “I knew he would put it in if it got to him. I just knew it needed to get to him and we won the game.”
What David Edge did next was what came naturally, as he redirected the ball in the confusion right where the goalie wasn’t — into the center of the goal.
As most siblings do, David, a senior, and Michael, a junior, draw similarities from each other. For the last two seasons, both, separated by just one grade level, have played midfielder on the Pirates’ varsity soccer program. While Michael wears No. 13, the No. 23 on David’s back isn’t all too different.
David has lighter hair than his brother and he’s more outspoken than Michael, but in the heat of the game, both attack the ball with a similar playing style and only two inches in height separate the brothers.
“I’m older,” said a barefooted David Edge, holding his tournament offensive MVP plaque in his hand. “He’s just taller. He’s got me on height.”
To start the season with its first Neuse River FA Cup since 2016, back when the tournament was known as the JUSA Cup, Corinth Holders received big contributions from the Edge brothers. Michael Edge broke through the middle of the defense and scored the Pirates’ first goal of the tournament in the eighth minute of an opening-round matchup against South Johnston.
After plowing through Cleveland in a 3-2 victory to advance to the championship game, the Pirates again relied on the Edge brothers, and the other midfielder, in the second half against Clayton.
Corinth Holders left a lot of room for the Comet offense in the first half, but at the break it switched from its usual 4-3-3 set to a more conservative 4-4-2, which added another midfielder into the mix to slow down Clayton around midfield.
The move helped the team hold the Comets scoreless in the second half and forced overtime, when the late goal won the Pirates the game.
When it came time for David Edge to be recognized for his clutch score with Offensive MVP honors after the game, Michael couldn’t help but chime in.
“That’s my brother,” a grinning Michael Edge said, as David accepted his plaque over the loudspeaker.
The two brothers have been playing soccer together their whole lives, but the opportunity to take the field wearing the same jersey isn’t something they’re taking for granted.
“It is really nice to play with my brother ...” David Edge said. “This is the last time in my life I’ll probably play with him too, because we’ll go our separate ways in college.”
At the end of the season, the brothers aren’t sure when they might the field together again. That’s why family moments like the one that won the game won’t be easily forgotten.
And yet, even after a brother connection, both David and Michael Edge were careful not to forget the contributions of their teammates that opened up the score.
“It was really just a team effort in the end of it,” Michael Edge said. “It was the whole team that made that happen. (David) was just the one that ended up putting it in the back of the net.”