The Mount Airy Bears hung on to both their win streak and shutout streak in a 1-0 victory against North Surry Wednesday. Both teams were fatigued from playing games earlier in the week, but didn’t let that stop them from putting on a show well worth the price of admission.
North Surry did something that no team has been able to do this entire season, and that is hold the Granite Bears scoreless for 79.5 minutes. Unfortunately for the Greyhounds, they weren’t able to stop an early attack from Mount Airy’s Austin Tumbarello. Tumbarello countered the Hounds’ opening kickoff play to score with just 25 seconds taken off the clock.
Just when it looked like the Bears were in for another blowout victory, Jesus Bautista made a run down the near sideline and made the opposing keeper sweat. The Bears countered with an attack that set up a free kick taken by Robert Brown, who just yesterday scored on a beautiful free kick opportunity against Alleghany. Brown’s shot was blocked by North Surry keeper Carson Draughn. Draughn was arguably the MVP for the Greyhounds with his 11 saves on the evening.
The Hounds were able to disrupt the Bears’ possession offense and were also able to penetrate the Mount Airy back line. Javier Vera of the Greyhounds would send the ball flying over the defense for Bautista to chase down. Whilst Jackson Tumbarello and the Bears’ defense kept North Surry from scoring in the match, they had more trouble than usual keeping the ball on the opposing side of the field. But Tumbarello, Brown, and the rest of the defense did their job and kept the ball out of their net for another 80 minutes.
Even though the Bears only scored one goal, they threatened to increase that lead with a barrage of shots in the later part of the half. Mount Airy also had seven corner kicks in the first half, but the defense of North Surry led by Grant Whittington held rock solid.
The second half began almost exactly as the first did except in reverse. The Greyhound offense intercepted a pass on Mount Airy’s opening kickoff and took the ball deep into Bear territory, but were unable to capitalize. The intensity started to grow as Junior Lopez of the Hounds received a yellow card. Fouls became more frequent as both teams were determined to leave as a victor.
The second half featured lots of play in the neutral territory of the field. The Bears’ Luis Osorno and the Hounds’ Vincent Hernandez did battle to try to maintain possession for their teams. Osorno nearly increased the lead for Mount Airy with a shot that was blocked by Draughn. Hernandez returned the favor three minutes later and his shot went just wide of the goal. The best chance for the Greyhounds to tie the match came in the 65th minute, when the ball was bouncing around the Bears’ 18-yard box and was directed toward the goal. It was just barely knocked clear of the danger area by Jackson Tumbarello.
The game then slowed down as both teams were exhausted. The Hounds had few chances from this point on to tie the game up and suffered a loss when the final whistle blew. Coach Eric Jessup praised his teams effort and expects big things from the Greyhounds this season.
Mount Airy will host Surry Central on September 5. North Surry will host East Surry on September 6.
Reach Cory on Twitter @MrCoryLeeSmith