The North Surry girls soccer team is “0-for” no more, snatching up its first win of the season Friday by defeating MVC 2-A foe North Wilkes, 3-1.
Greyhounds coach Adam Beshears said it felt good to finally bring home his team’s first win after playing halfway through its conference schedule with victory just out of reach, adding the Greyhounds finally took its practice strategy to the field.
“We had tremendous improvement today from what we have been seeing,” Beshears said. “ We moved the ball how we have actually worked on all season. I think it was a good confidence boost for us too.”
North Surry had reason to be optimistic for Friday’s match, coming off a close fought game on Wednesday against Starmount, losing 2-0 with the Rams second goal coming near the end of the match.
North Wilkes booted in the first goal of the day nearly 10 minutes in off a penalty kick. But 10 minutes later, the Greyhounds evened the score at 1-1 when Amber Ellis sent in a nice cross and Martha Bedoya directed it into the net.
With about 30 minutes gone in the first, North took the lead for good when Lizbeth Morales drew a foul just outside the penalty box, then took the free kick herself and placed it perfectly in the upper right corner of the North Wilkes net.
North Wilkes had a number of chances to tie near the end of the first half but the Greyhounds defense (Emily Powell, Emily Edwards, Whitlee Angel and Katie Smith) held the Vikings off while goalkeeper Mariah McComb was mistake free, keeping the score 2-1 heading into the half.
Beshears said he could not give his defense enough credit for allowing the Greyhounds to stay in the game.
“I could never explain the importance of the defense to the team,” he said. “Right now they are our backbone.”
Both teams battled for control of the ball for much of the second half, with the Greyhounds holding off North Wilkes on several scoring opportunities.
With near 10 minutes left to play and the excitement of a possible win filling the North Surry sideline and stands, the Greyhounds caught a second wind, pushing the ball deep into North Wilkes territory and keeping the Vikings from any chance to tie the game.
After several attack attempts by Greyhound forwards Morales and Jacqi Garcia, North finally sealed the game, with Garcia sending home a Morales corner kick to push the score to 3-1 with under 7 minutes left to play.
With and extremely young lineup (nine of 11 Greyhound starters are ninth or tenth graders), Beshears said the victory will hopefully show his team what it takes to win in a deep Mountain Valley conference.
“I think they understand that now and I think that was one thing that we needed in order to be more successful,” he said. “Our conference has some tough teams. Whether or not we win every game in the conference, this helps us at least know that we can do our best and compete. We can really show something.”
With the win, North improves to 1-7 overall and 1-5 in the Mountain Valley 2-A Conference.