ELKIN — Surry Central beat Elkin for the second time this season, taking a 3-0 win on the road.
The Golden Eagles have the heart of their Western Piedmont Conference schedule coming up, and one last nonconference win will help the team gain momentum.
The Eagles scored all three goals in the first half, then began rotating subs into the game in the second.
It’s good to be able to use 21 players in a half and still not give up a score, noted Coach Blake Roth.
On the first goal, Osber Valle sent a low corner kick toward the front post. Gusto Cristobal was too close to the corner, outside the goal post, but used the outside of his right shoe to deflect the ball diagonally behind him toward the net.
Jose Avalos scored twice after that. One came on a penalty kick, and the other off an assist from Cristobal.
The Eagles beat the Elks 5-0 in the first game of the season, so Elkin mixed up its strategy for this one.
“They put a lot of numbers behind the ball,” said Roth, meaning the Elks were running back to get people in defensive position rather than leaking forward hoping for a pass.
At the same time, the back line was pushing forward, creating a log jam in the middle of the field.
Elkin was trying to spring out for some counterattacks, and they nearly succeeded a few times in the first half. However, the shots were too high.
On one remarkable play, Elkin’s Dante Sanchez had a breakaway and was bearing down on keeper Artemio Cortes. Central’s Uriel Secundino sprinted back and made a diving block just before Sanchez could put the ball away.
There was some sloppy play early in the match, admitted Roth. The Eagles let Elkin execute its game plan.
Elkin was jamming up the middle and giving up the outside for long runs, but the players kept trying to center the ball through the traffic, he said. Sometimes, rather than imposing your will, you have to take what the defense is giving and from there make things happen.
The Eagles are 7-3, and those three losses were all to bigger schools as Roth wanted his guys to face some stiff competition.
Conference foe West Stokes similarly is 5-4-1 with those losses to tough teams.
South Stokes is always a physical opponent and is 5-2-1.
Forbush is 6-2-1 and is ranked in the top 15 in the 2A state coaches’ poll, as seen on EurosportScorecard.com.
North Surry has had a slow start, going 1-5, but that includes two losses each to East Surry and Mount Airy.
The Greyhounds do have some scoring power. The Bears allowed just two goals in the first 10 games, but gave up two goals in one game to the Hounds.
The Eagles will have to play well to succeed in this new conference, Roth said.
“I know we’re capable of it — I saw it with Glenn,” he said, referring to this week’s big win over a 4A opponent.
On Monday, the Eagles have a match at Carver, which was late in getting a team organized this year.
Since Carver hasn’t played anyone, some folks might overlook the Yellow Jackets, but Roth is leery of the unknown.
“We’re just going to have to play them like they are the number one team in the state until we can prove otherwise,” he said.