PILOT MOUNTAIN — Surry Central got two quick goals and then held on for a 3-0 soccer win Wednesday against East Surry.
The two teams battled evenly for 77 minutes, but in the first three minutes, the Golden Eagles posted two scores.
“We got into an early hole, and you can’t dig your way out against a good team,” said East Coach Bill Hart.
About a minute into the game, Central passed ahead down the right sideline.
Jose Avalos chased down the ball in the corner and pulled it back out a few strides. Then he centered the ball to Fredy Cruz, who blasted a shot in from 30-plus yards away.
Two minutes later, the Eagles earned a corner kick on the right side.
Rather than boot the ball toward the goal, Central’s Juan Lopez tapped the ball to Adrian Gonzalez, who returned it to Lopez on the wing.
Lopez hit a low screamer toward the back post. A Cardinal defender reached out a leg, and the ball grazed the underside of his shoe before hitting the post and ricocheting into the net for a 2-0 lead.
Scoring those two goals seemed to take some of the wind out of East Surry’s sails and took the fans out of the match, too, said Central Coach Blake Roth.
Getting a hot start is crucial against a very tough, hard-nosed team like the Cards, he said. The Eagles were fortunate to do that in both matches this season, he noted.
The score remained 2-0 through halftime. Then about three minutes into the second half, Lopez ripped a shot from about 25 yards toward the goal.
Keeper Marco Gomez did a good job of stopping the shot, said Roth, but Justo Cristobal crashed and finished the deflection for the final score.
All three goals were scored by midfielders, noted Roth. “That shows that we have depth, and that our forwards were doing a good enough job relieving pressure on the other players.”
Avalos, the team’s leading scorer, didn’t have a goal, but drew enough attention from the defense to free other Eagles up for looks.
In this game, the Cards wore white T-shirts with pink lettering in support of Breast Cancer Awareness month and Ashley Smith’s Dig for a Cure senior project, said Hart.
Surry Central joined in by wearing pink bands on their socks.
“I was glad to be able to participate,” said Roth. “My grandmother is a cancer survivor.”
Both schools have been affected by cancer, including some of their star athletes.
Smith’s volleyball teammate, Jessica Barker, lost her grandfather to cancer earlier this year. Surry Central volleyball and softball player Meagan Hutson lost her grandmother to cancer.
Reach Jeff Linville at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 719-1920.