Regulation wasn’t enough time to settle Thursday’s soccer match between Mount Airy and East Surry.
The Granite Bears prevailed 3-2 in overtime off a goal from Mitchell Brown 1:35 into the extra period.
After losing their first two games, the Bears have run off seven straight wins, including avenging one of their losses to Elkin.
As for Thursday, Coach Will Hurley said, “It’s a shame there has to be a loser in a game like this.” A lucky break here or there, and the outcome could have gone East Surry’s way.
“I really have to brag on Coach (Bill) Hart and the job he does with his team,” said Hurley. Games with the Cardinals always seem to be tightly contested, he said, and the players do a great job of closing off passing lanes.
“Captain Carlos (Carrillo) was everywhere again,” the coach said. He tallied 32 clears on defense, and Hurley called some of those “unbelievable.”
Keeper Alex Mayo was like Spiderman back there, he said. Mayo had 12 saves, including a stop on a penalty kick.
Brown scored the Bears’ first goal at the 20:30 mark. Jeremy Chappell got a through-ball and went to the goal to score the second point.
A hard rain came down at one point in the game, and that seemed to energize the team, Hurley said.
The players appeared to be focusing too much on trying not to let East Surry score rather than being aggressive and attacking themselves.
Hurley had Luke Needham shadow East’s Souli Boutis much of the night, with help with Alexis Alvarez. Like a box-and-one in basketball, the Bears paid attention to Boutis as he is integral to the Cards’ attack.
In the midfield, Alvarez and Sam Watson were key. On defense Hunter Clawson posted 21 clears and John Hardy 17 clears.
With a sterling 7-2 record, Hurley hopes the team gets some recognition in the next coaches’ poll. East Surry currently is ranked 11th and Elkin 14th in the statewide top-15 ranking.