The Mount Airy soccer team used a balance attack on Tuesday to roll over North Surry with a 4-1 victory.
Jose Perez and Jeremy Chappell came into the match as Mount Airy’s top scorers as the two have combined for 19 goals this season.
However, the Granite Bears (7-3-1) got their offense from four different goal scorers in a comfortable win against the Greyhounds (3-6).
“It is nice and I think it’ll maybe take the pressure off of (Chappell and Perez) so they feel like they don’t have to do it all,” Mount Airy coach Will Hurley said. “It’s been tough on them lately. They’re getting double- and triple-teamed and it’s nice to have some other kids come through and score.”
Robert Brown came into the match fresh off kicking the game-winning field goal for Mount Airy’s football team on Friday against North Surry. He opened the scoring for the Granite Bears in the 16th minute from a free kick.
Brown laced a right-footed shot over the North Surry wall and into the back of the net from about 20 yards away. The Greyhound keeper got a hand to Brown’s shot, but he couldn’t muster enough strength to palm it away.
“That first goal, (Brown’s) free kick just went boom,” Hurley said. “I don’t think a college keeper could have stopped that one.”
Mount Airy doubled its lead eight minutes later courtesy of substitute Matthew Dodd. The junior forward just came on to the pitch moments before he found the ball inside the penalty box in a dangerous position.
Dodd’s first shot was deflected but he hustled towards the rebound and made the second opportunity count for a 2-0 lead.
The Greyhounds immediately responded, though, and cut the deficit back to one just a minute later.
Alex Jones launched a long cross from just inside the Mount Airy half and all the way to Alexis Cortés inside the Granite Bear penalty box. Cortés used his head to direct the ball low and into the right corner of the goal.
After giving up this goal, Mount Airy dominated the final stages of the first half and had plenty of opportunities to extend its lead. The Bears controlled possession and passed the ball well to quell any momentum Cortés’ goal could have provided North Surry.
“We try to possess the ball,” Hurley said. “I’ve tried to tell my team to bring the ball up the field. … You can’t win if you don’t have the ball, so we’re trying to hold on to the ball and make our offense run from there.”
The Bears finally did cash in on this spell of possession to end the first half with three minutes remaining in the half.
Malcolm Malone sent a long throw into the box that bounced around for a long time. North Surry had its chances, but the Hounds couldn’t quite clear it away, allowing Cooper Nester to clean it up with his fifth goal of the year to make the score 3-1.
The score stayed this way throughout most of the second half despite some good play from North Surry.
The Greyhounds did a better job of holding onto the ball, especially at the start of the second period, and they forced Jesus Orozco into four second-half saves for Mount Airy.
Whether it was tired legs or better play from the Bears, North Surry failed to cause much of a threat in the finals stages and Mount Airy capped its win with another goal in the final 10 minutes.
Julio Contreras sent a cross in from the right sideline, and Austin Tumbarello outjumped the North Surry defense to head it home for the 4-1 lead.
The Greyhounds will next be in action on Thursday at home against Wilkes Central.
Mount Airy has one final tune up game before it starts conference play, and the Bears have played a tough non-conference schedule to start the year with only one 1A opponent.
Coach Hurley enjoys playing a tough schedule and challenging his team, and Mount Airy will receive another big test on Thursday against Surry Central. The two schools first match ended in a 5-5 tie.
Reach Jackson atv 415-4702 and on twitter @jacksonfuller16