First Posted: 3/24/2009
PILOT MOUNTAIN If the first of many probable meetings between East Surry and Mount Airy girls soccer is indicative of the course the matchup will take in the future, area sports fans should take note.
While the Granite Bears dismantled the Cardinals on the scoreboard, 6-0, the action on the field was intense and hard fought .
With Mount Airy having the best start to a girls soccer season in its short history, the Bears now have a rival to add to their new found success and East has something to shoot for.
East Surry is in its first year of girls soccer, with many of the players on the team having little or no soccer experience before signing up to be what coach Bill Hart calls pioneers of the sport in the Pilot Mountain.
But no matter the score or experience level, both sides looked ferocious from start to finish.
Jordan Gwyn led the Bears with two goals, with Liz Merrit, Erica Watson, Lindsay Castevens and Kendall Simmons all adding goals of their own.
East Surry coach Bill Hart said the difference in the game boiled down to who had better knowledge of the game.
Experience, Harts said. Absolutely experience was the difference. Their girls knew where to go and when to go and our girls lost our mark, had trouble finding where to go and how to react.
Mount Airy coach Andrew hoard said he was relatively pleased with his teams performance.
I thought we executed well, Howard said. We moved the ball well and we played pretty good today. There was a lot of contact and I was impressed for them (East) being a first year team they held in there pretty well against us. They definitely used their physicality in the first half.
The East Surry crowd was in full force and Howard said his team even drew from the atmosphere, adding there will no doubt be tougher and more heated games between the two teams to come.
We were spurred on by their crowd, he said. I think this rivalry is eventually going to grow. Some of our girls know there girls and they are all friends. I think this could become something that is pretty contested as they grow as a program. It was definitely a raucous atmosphere.
Despite the loss, Hart said the amount of fan support and the effort of the girls was all he could ask for.
I wouldnt trade my team in for any other team anywhere, Hart said. They are the hardest working 22 girls that you could find in northwest North Carolina. They did not lose for lack of effort tonight. I challenge you all season long and go to a stadium with that many fans. We had the whole community supporting us. I told my girls that we need to see us getting better and we are. We are a lot better today than we were yesterday and that is what is important.
Hart said he thinks as time and experience progress for both schools, the Mount Airy-East Surry matchup should be an enjoyable one to watch.
Next time we face them we are going to go at them like the Hatfields and McCoys, Hart said. Its the same way with them, they want to beat us into the ground too. But after the game, if you looked at the handshakes you saw friends. You get those same two teams together two years from now and its going to be a war. Once we get our feet wet and establish ourselves, its going to be very fun.
With Mount Airy eyeing a possible playoff birth, Howard said the Bears game against West Wilkes Friday will be an important one.
That is going to be a big game for us, Howard said. Usually four teams out of our conference make the playoffs and this is one of the teams we will have to beat if we want to have any hope of making the playoffs. It should be a good game and I think we are pretty evenly matched.
Mount Airy improves to 3-3 overall and 1-2 in the Northwest 1-A Conference while East Surry drops to 0-2.