DOBSON — The Surry Central Golden Eagles clinched their first win of the 2A state boys soccer playoffs against the Forest Hills Yellow Jackets at home on Wednesday night.
The score finished 3-0. Near the 32-minute mark in the opening half of the soccer match, Jose Avalos achieved the honors of being the first player to put points on the board for the Golden Eagles. Loud teammates yelled, “Vamos! Vamos! Lets go!”
The Eagles continued to drive down the field and aggressively pass and shoot in what looked like destined sure goals only to be denied due to the keeper ability of Yellow Jacket Luis Jiminez.
Blake Roth, Golden Eagles head coach, striding back and forth across the field sideline affirmed loudly, “Their goalie is having the game of his life.”
At the end of the first half, Roth said the Eagles strategy for the second half of the match must be to “keep shooting, keep up the team’s offensive power and to test out the Yellow Jacket goalie more.”
Furthermore, said Roth, “We will watch out for Yellow Jacket #11 (Alan Tinoco). We will put a mark on him.” He was giving the Eagles heavy competition with the run in the middle, according to coach Roth.
Also, during half-time, an intense Ranferi Ramirez said that he “wanted to make sure that he keeps the pressure up on the Yellow Jackets.” He said that he believed that the Golden Eagles could not “let off” and must let Yellow Jacket defense make the errors. He added his thoughts about how he believed that “the Eagles must drop when they are on the counterattack.”
At 68 minutes into the second half, Justo Cristobal gave a great pass to Juan Lopez and he had a brilliant shot on the goal just out of the keeper’s hand. It was a hard close-up high hit, said Roth.
The shot by Lopez was thought out and planned, said Roth, and was what it took to get the next point on the board against a goalie who also had the ability to jump high, noted Roth. Lopez got it from about 50 feet out and he did not have time to get set. Two minutes later, Lopez hit a hard shot again that just bounced out of the keeper’s hands and Cristobal was at the right place and the right time by beating the defender and forced it in before the keeper had time to regain his composure, said Roth.
“Senior Juan Lopez knew what was on the line and he delivered. He has taken his lumps from the older players before and he has fought for and earned every accolade that he has received in the last four years. He also excels academically,” Roth stated.
Roth further highlighted the defensive excellence with which Ranferi Ramirez played during last nights match. “He had a great game,” said Roth.
Overall, the victory was won against the Yellow Jackets because “we were clicking on all cylinders,” he said. “We controlled the game and dominated in ball possession keeping it close and were never really threatened.”
The second round of the 2A state competition will be played Saturday against the defending Salisbury 2A State Champions at 6 p.m. on Saturday in Salisbury.
The Salisbury Hornets won the 2A state title last year against the Golden Eagles.
“We will be ready for them this year and see what we can do to throw them a curb ball, and be tough,” said Roth.
Reach Jeff Linville at email@example.com or at 719-1921.