DOBSON — There may be a hurricane ravaging through the southeast United States, but it was a different kind of storm that caused destruction in Dobson. The Surry Central Golden Eagles breezed past the East Surry Cardinals 5-1 on the way to their sixth win of the season. The youth of East Surry fought to keep the match competitive, but were ultimately overwhelmed by the Eagles’ perfect storm.
East Surry used their previous 6-2 loss to Surry Central as motivation to start the game off strong. Neither team gained a distinct advantage in the early going. The ball circulated in the middle third of the field as neither defense would break down. East Surry’s Leonardo de la Cruz exerted the game’s first true offense in the fourth minute when he had a shot on goal that was saved by Eagle keeper Ivan Padilla.
It wouldn’t be until the seventh minute that the Golden Eagles were able to penetrate the much improved back line of East Surry. The strikers of Central tested Cardinal goalie Ethan Casstevens before a ball slipped through the freshman’s fingers in the 12th minute. Rodrigo Landaverde celebrated his goal and looked to add another.
East Surry didn’t fold after the first goal and continued to fight. A free kick by Gonzolo Chavez made the Central keeper sweat, but Padilla was able to stop it. Javier Ruiz regulated the midfield for the Cards and kept the ball in Eagle territory. Ruiz would send the ball flying over Central’s defenders for Cruz to chase down.
Momentum shifted once again as Riley Templeton fed the ball to the Eagle attackers to pelt at the Cardinals’ goal. Casstevens protected his yard for as long as he could until Hernan Garcia redirected the ball into the net. Lucky for East Surry, they were able to use their get out of jail free card when off-sides was called on Garcia. Their luck would be short-lived, however, as Nolan McMillen plowed through Cardinal defenders in the 23rd minute to make the score 2-0.
Surry Central was able to stop all of East Surry scoring attempts to maintain their lead. Chaco Sanchez was the Energizer Bunny for the Eagles, halting Cardinal attacks and turning them into attacks for his team. Just before the halftime whistle, Chris Osario was able to bypass Sanchez and send the ball to Cruz, who got off a quality shot that was saved by Padilla.
With the second half came an influx of wind and a frigid rain. Passes, as well as taking notes for this article, became more difficult with the increase of moisture falling from the sky. Players on both sides had to focus more on harder ground passes to prevent the ball from flying out of bounds.
East Surry continued to fight an uphill battle, but the Eagles seemed unaffected by the elements. Central remained on the offensive for the first 10 minutes of the half, eventually leading to a goal from Luis Padilla. The Cardinals, now down 3-0, were able to make a run following the Eagles’ goal when Ryan Sigmon fed the ball to Cruz. Cruz was unable to finish, but it showed that East Surry was not giving up. Sigmon and Chavez did a good job of keeping pressure on the Eagles, but the Cardinals couldn’t finish on their opportunities.
It only took one offensive run to put Surry Central back in the driver’s seat. A foul by the Cards in minute 58 set the plate for Ernesto Caro to send a screamer from 30 yards soaring into the back of the net to increase the home team’s lead to four. Axel Rangel added the fifth and final goal for Surry Central in the 64th minute.
With the match seemingly decided, East Surry surprisingly made some of its best runs of the game in the final 20 minutes. Ruiz and Cruz showed great ball movement and hammered shots at the opposing keeper. Their efforts were finally rewarded when Anderson Alred bulldozed numerous Eagles to get the ball to Cruz’s left foot, which in turn sent the ball flying into the back of the net to make it 5-1. The teams traded attacks in the game’s final minutes, but the score remained the same until the whistle blew to end the match.
Surry Central played as a cohesive unit and were able to control much of the game’s pace, just as it has most of this season. It will be extremely difficult to stop the Eagles when all gears are turning. Central moves to 6-1 on the season and awaits a match with Atkins on Wednesday.
East Surry continues to show promise if it can put all the pieces together. With only four seniors and eight underclassmen on the roster, including a freshman keeper, a learning curve is to be expected. The Cards move to 2-4, a feat in itself considering the team didn’t win a match last year. The Cardinals look to continue their maturation against North Wilkes on Friday.
Reach Cory on Twitter @MrCoryLeeSmith