Mount Airy jumped out to an early 2-0 lead, but North Surry refused to quit and forced a 3-3 tie in soccer Thursday night.
The Granite Bears scored twice in the first three minutes, then couldn’t score again for the last 77 minutes of regulation.
In the second half, the Greyhounds scored twice to tie the game, then each team scored once during the two 10-minute overtime periods.
About a minute into the game, the Bears’ John Hardy boomed in a goal from about the 35-yard line (by the football markings), according to Mount Airy Coach Will Hurley.
About a minute and a half later, Sam Watson assisted Mitchell Brown for a second goal.
“They easily could have shut down after that,” Hurley said of the Hounds. “They never stopped hustling.” They wanted this game more than the Bears did, he said.
Because of that hunger he saw, Hurley warned his team at halftime that they needed at least one more goal, possibly two in the second half to keep North Surry at bay.
Fifteen minutes into the second half, North’s Mitchell Midkiff scored.
A few minutes later, another goal tied the game at 2-2.
North scored first in overtime, but the Bears answered on a throw-in. Watson threw the ball in, and Cristian Maldonado finished it off, Hurley noted.
Between regulation and overtime, the Bears missed 17 on-goal shots, the coach said.
Bear keeper Alex Mayo was busy making 15 saves, including a couple at point-blank range.
Captain Carlos Carrillo was great again, Hurley said. It was amazing how many times he stole the ball or tracked down a 50/50 ball and fed it to a teammate.
The coach said if he hadn’t seen it himself, he wouldn’t have believed that one guy could make 67 clears in a game. At his previous coaching gig at Midway, Hurley recalled a player getting 280-some clears in a season, and Carrillo already has 418 in 16 games, an average of 26 per game.
On one play, North’s Hector Zubieta faked out Carrillo (something Hurley says never happens), but the defender was still able to stick out a foot as he was falling to the ground and tapped the ball away.
Some soccer games, the ball stays in the midfield all night with few shots on goal. Hurley said this game was unusual because the ball seemed to always be near one team’s goal or the other, seldom in the middle.
The tie is the first of the season for the Bears, who stand at 11-4-1 overall, 4-2-1 in the Northwest Conference.
North Surry is 6-6-2, 4-5-1 in the Northwest. The Greyhounds are third in the 2A half of the brackets, behind conference leaders Surry Central and West Stokes.
The Bears are one loss better than East Surry (4-3-1), and the Bears and Cards will face off in the season finale Oct. 24 in Pilot Mountain.
Mount Airy plays Monday at Winston-Salem Prep, then Tuesday against West Stokes.
North Surry goes to West Stokes on Monday, then hosts Bishop on Tuesday.