DOBSON — Haylee Harrison earned a hat trick as Surry Central avenged a soccer loss to North Iredell.
Early in the season, the Lady Eagles went to North Iredell and lost 2-0. This time the Eagles went up 5-0 in the first half and cruised the rest of the way for the 5-0 win.
“I feel like we have improved through the season,” said Coach Matt Richardson. It was good to get out of the gates quickly.
Harrison scored the first goal in the 11th minute. Yasmin Vega made a long clear, and the speedy Harrison chased it down behind the defense for a one-on-one with the keeper.
Nine minutes later, Harrison scored again off an assist from Sarah Bruce. That was the first of three goals in a seven-minute span.
Only four minutes later, the Eagles threatened again. The North Iredell keeper moved to intercept the ball as Central’s Maddie White raced forward. White got there first and attacked.
The goalie made a deflection, but Victoria Olchowoj cleaned up for a 3-0 lead in the 24th minute.
Bruce made it 4-0 when she powered in a direct kick from about 30 yards out in the 27th minute.
With just two minutes left in the half, Harrison completed the hat trick for a 5-0 lead. Neither team scored in the second half.
Richardson said he began his substitution rotation fairly early in the second half so that most everyone got some play time.
He said he was proud of the team for preserving the shutout with all the different lineups on the field.
Keeper Chandler Musson didn’t have that many saves, but one of them was a doozy.
The score was still just 2-0 when the defense lost track of a player on the back post, the coach noted. The ball reached the attacker, and Richardson was sure it would be a goal because the girl was so close to the net.
Chandler had to move to her right to make the stop. And, he added, she didn’t just knock it away, giving the offense a second chance — she made a clean catch.
She also made some good kicks clearing the ball away from the goal.
“I was screaming, ‘Get it out of there! Get it out of there!’” he said.
The team has come to expect good play from Chandler, and she is consistently good, the coach said.
As for Harrison, Richardson said sometimes he likes to point out a great job by the supporting cast, but the sophomore deserves a lot credit for being the team’s leading scorer. She has an ability to beat defenders and finish plays.
The Eagles improved to 12-6 on the season. They travel to North Surry this evening.
Reach Jeff Linville at email@example.com or at 719-1920.