A furious second-half comeback by the Wilkes Central soccer team fell short in a 4-3 loss to North Surry in Moravian Falls on Monday. It was the Foothills 2A Conference opener for both squads.

The Eagles trailed 2-0 at halftime but scored three goals after the break. With 16 minutes left to play, Central’s Alejandro Oquell scored, followed by a goal by teammate Johnie Randy minutes later.

With about four minutes left in the match, freshman Jack Pontzer made an aggressive run at goal, beating five North Surry defenders and fighting off a strong tackle to tie the game at 3-3.

An errant pass and missed tackle led to the winning goal from long range with only 30 seconds to play.

“It was both a painful loss and a great lesson learned that this team has fight,” said Eagle Coach Matt Matthews. “Short staffed, due to COVID and injuries, they learned they have what it takes, even with newer guys on the squad. (Assistant coach) Brooke (Bentley) and I are extremely proud of these guys for their fight, effort and their learning.”

Matthews added that even after the tough loss, the Eagle players surrounded their keeper, Roman O’Sullivan, and encouraged him.

“In the end, this is a team that’s learning what it means to be a team. This is a ‘we’ effort, and some of the best lessons are learned in the face of adversity.”

The Greyhounds powered up to 3-2 overall while the Eagles regressed to 1-5.

Surry denies West

The Surry Central soccer team shut out West Wilkes in Millers Creek on Monday, 3-0. It was the Foothills 2A Conference opener for both clubs.

The Golden Eagles led 2-0 at halftime and rose to 4-1-1 overall, while the Blackhawks slipped to 3-4, 0-1.

Cards top Vikings

East Surry posted a 7-2 victory over North Wilkes in Pilot Mountain on Monday. It was the Foothills 2A Conference opener for both teams.

The Cardinals evened their overall record at 3-3 while the Vikings fell to 1-3.

Cougars claw Hawks

Alexander Central shut out West Wilkes, 3-0, in a nonleague match Thursday in Millers Creek.

The Cougars improved to 3-4-1 with the win, while the Blackhawks slid to 3-3 in the preseason.

Rams buck Eagles

Wilkes Central dropped a 4-1 decision to Starmount in Boonville on Sept. 7.

“We are seeing great growth and improvement in the development of our lager game in terms of passing,” said Central Coach Matt Matthews. “Our attack into the final third was hampered by injuries and guys learning new positions. Ball movement, specifically short and quick passes, created multiple opportunities for us as we continue to develop an organized attack.

“Defensively we are continuing to find the right mix of athletes and experience. Injuries have hampered our unified development so far this season.”

The Rams bettered to 2-1-2 while the Eagles slipped to 1-4.

East is quarantined

The East Wilkes-North Wilkes nonconference match scheduled for Sept. 8 in Hays was canceled due to the Cardinal team being placed in COVID-19 quarantine, according to East Coach Austin Bare.

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