PILOT MOUNTAIN — Surry Central bounced back from its sole loss of the 2017 soccer season to defeat East Surry 6-2 in the Cardinals’ home opener Thursday night. The Cards showed signs of promise in only their second game of the season but were outgunned by the well-rounded Golden Eagles.
The first 10 minutes of the game were dominated by Central. East Surry struggled to get the ball out of their third of the field and the Eagles applied constant pressure on the Cardinal back line. Surry Central notched two goals in this span, one from Luis Padilla and the other from Nolan McMillen.
Chaco Sanchez of Surry Central was a constant presence on the field. Sanchez regulated the midfield and distributed the ball to the Eagles’ strikers while also hustling back on defense.
East Surry generated its first real offense when Ryan Wagoner and Leonardo de la Cruz made a run up the right side of the field. East Surry’s sweeper Seth Lowe got his defense in line and kept the ball out of Cardinal territory for the the better part of the 15th through 25th minute. Lowe made the Eagle keeper sweat with a free kick in the 18th minute. The Cardinals had a corner kick placed perfectly for Ryan Sigmon, but the keeper managed to get a hand on Sigmon’s shot to keep the shutout alive.
East Surry’s momentum was squandered when Padilla scored his second goal of the game to put the Eagles up 3-0. Surry Central spent the rest of the half setting the pace and keeping the ball moving in Cardinal country. Just when East Surry thought they had stopped a run from Central, Ernesto Caro took advantage when Cardinal defenders were passing the ball around in their own 18-yard box and sent a screamer into the lower 90.
The Cardinals were outshot 12-6 in the first half and knew they had to spend more time in Eagle territory to stand a chance. East’s Javier Ruiz did just that in the 44th minute, but sent the ball wide right of the goal.
Central mounted an attack immediately after when Ivan Padilla took the ball down the sideline and crossed it to Luis Padilla, who completed his hat trick with an acrobatic shot in minute 46.
Despite being down 5-0, the Cardinals showed no sign of giving up. Keeper Ethan Casstevens had an incredible save in the 47th minute that led to a run by East Surry. The Cardinals kept the ball near the opponents’ goal before Cruz scored the first goal for the home team.
Miguel Tello scored the sixth and final goal for Surry Central in the 60th minute on an assist from Axel Rangel. After that, East Surry hammered shots on the opposing keeper. A header from Chris Osario grazed the crossbar and a shot from Ruiz was blocked by a defender just before it crossed the goal line. All this led to a shot by the Cardinals’ Cruz, who scored his second goal of the match.
The remainder of the match took place mostly in the middle third of the field, with neither team able to gain a distinct advantage. Cruz made a run for the Cardinals after a handling call on the Eagles, but it was too little too late as the Eagles walked away with a 6-2 victory.
East Surry falls to 0-2 and will travel to West Stokes (1-2) on August 29 in hopes of capturing its first win. The Golden Eagles of Surry Central improve to 4-1 and will face North Forsyth (0-2-1) on August 28.
Reach Cory on Twitter @MrCoryLeeSmith