PILOT MOUNTAIN — The East Surry varsity boys soccer team held tough on Thursday against West Stokes with the game ending in a 2-all tie on Cards turf.
The Wildcats beat the Cards 3-0 earlier this season, but the Cards stood their ground on Thursday in the non-conference game.
The Cards came into the match after a loss to Surry Central on Wednesday in another physical match. The Cards held Central to two goals, who leads the 2A Western Piedmont Athletic Conference in standings.
The Cards move to a 3-2-1 record and are second in the 1A Northwest conference behind Mount Airy Bears.
Head Cardinal Coach Bill Hart said the team was challenged by the Wildcats and they stepped up to the challenge.
Hart said the Cards played especially well in the second half. He called it an adrenaline kicker.
“There was no one player who earned the win, it was the whole team,” said Hart.
The Wildcats struck first after Mason Eggers scored early in the first half, putting the Wildcats up 1-0.
The teams went into the half with the score 1-0 Wildcats.
Early in the second half, Card Jimmy Speer connected with an assist to Brayan Gomez.
Gomez kicked it in, got the Cards on the board and recorded their first goal in the match.
Just a few minutes later, Gomez sent an assist to Brody Gentry, who scored the Cards’ second goal. Gentry’s goal gave the Cards the lead 2-1.
West Stokes wasted no time retaliating. Will Moore scored for the Wildcats evening out the score 2-2.
The Cardinals held their ground by keeping needed time of possession. They continued to get up the field in a team effort with good passing and dribbling.
The Cardinal defense became stingy with the Cats as the match wore on. They interrupted long and short passes and kept them from scoring during several close calls.
The Cardinal defense and goal keeper Marco Gomez held the Cats at bay in the last few minutes by not allowing a penalty kick to get in. The Cards defense as a whole responded to a late Wildcat run as their offense swarmed up-field several times.
Brayan Gomez, who led the team against the Wildcats with an assist and goal, broke through the Wildcat mid-field several times by getting outside and getting the ball up-field. Gomez said Coach Hart had explained the importance of getting to the outside and said he was glad he had success against the Wildcats.
Gomez said he came into the match expecting to play a tough, competitive team. “I think we could have won the game, we were doing some good passes,” said Gomez.
Forward Caleb Mann started for the Cardinals Thursday night and got up-field several times. He made several defensive plays that kept possession in the Cards’ hands and thwarted Wildcat momentum.
Mann said his game and mental awareness has improved. Mann said his previous experience as a defensive player helped him in playing forward against the Wildcats.
East Surry will face South Stokes Tuesday at home.