PILOT MOUNTAIN — East Surry Cardinals varsity boys soccer team lost 1-3 to Lake Norman Charter Knights Wednesday night at home during the third round of the state soccer playoffs.
Cardinals Head Coach Bill Hart said the Cardinals did great considering the toughness of the team they played and in what was “expected to be a tough match” to begin with.
“My team fought real hard all game long and I am real proud of them, we got beat by a quality team. We played toe to toe and blow by blow against a very tough team,” he emphasized.
Coming into last night’s match, Hart said the Cards would have to deliver offensively to compete against the dominant forward and center back positions of the Lake Norman Charter team.
His strategy, he said, was for the team “to move up the field and deliver quality shots” in order to stay competitive.
About 20 minutes into the match, Brayan Gomez scored what was to be the only East Surry goal of last night’s game against the Knights.
Goalie/keeper Marco Gomez remained busy all night long, playing for keeps. His key saves throughout the game along with a tenacious Cardinal defense kept the score within comeback range during the entire match.
With 10 minutes left to go in the first half, the Knights scored their first goal during a penalty kick and then took the lead 2-1 with a well placed ball kicked deep in the corner. That happened with around 3:45 left to go in the first half.
During the opening of the second half, the Knights continually pressed through the Cardinal midfield into scoring territory. However, the bulldogged Cardinal defense never fully laid off pressing the Charlotte team.
During the match, Hart continually yelled for the Cardinal offense to get the ball wide and pleaded loudly from the sidelines, “do not to leave any man open.”
Throughout the game, the battle cry from both assistant coach John Sigmon, and Hart, became, “Get in there, play your best game, let’s go.”
With around seven minutes left to go, the Knights scored their last goal of the evening giving them the three total points of the match.
Overall, both offensively and on defense, the Cards met the challenge sent their way, Hart said. The players responded to what Sigmon and Hart yelled for them to do all evening long and played their best against the dominant Knights team.
The Cardinals beat North Moore last week, 3-0, during the second round of state playoffs, who had a higher ranking than the Cardinals. The upset was not a surprise for many in what turned out to be a winning season overall for the East Surry varsity boys soccer team.
The Cardinal soccer season ended with an overall record of 12-9-1 after the loss against Knights, who went undefeated in their conference and have a 17-3-1 record overall.