WALKERTOWN — The East Surry soccer team opened up play in the Northwest Conference on Tuesday with a thrilling win over the Walkertown Wolfpack.
The Cardinals (4-6, 1-0) battled Walkertown in an offensive shootout that required overtime, and even penalties.
Neither team could find an advantage throughout regulation and in the extra two periods. With the match tied at four, East Surry was able to come out on top in the shootout with a 4-3 win.
East Surry coach Mike Lowery said the game started off slow and his team came out a little flat. Walkertown got on the board first to take a 1-0 lead before the Cardinals answered with two consecutive goals.
The first was a corner kick goal from Javier Ruiz to Ermal Gashi. It was Gashi’s first goal since joining the team as an exchange student this season.
The Cardinals took a 2-1 lead when Trace Simmons made a nice run and pass from his defensive position to set up Diego Rebollar with the goal. The score stayed at 2-1 into halftime.
Walkertown came out in the second half and seized momentum with two quick goals to put the Cardinals on their heels. The Wolfpack led 3-2, but East Surry was able to respond.
Ruiz got on the score sheet to tie the game late in the second half with an unassisted goal. Lowery said his sophomore midfielder made a nice run through the defense and set himself up with an easy one-on-one opportunity against the Walkertown goalie.
The 3-3 score line carried the teams into overtime. In the first extra period, Simmons scored East Surry’s second goal of the match following a corner kick. This time, the assist was from Andrew Rogers to give the Cardinals a 4-3 lead.
Lowery noted that it is an incredible weapon to be so successful at set pieces. He is also thrilled with the variety of options East Surry has to capitalize on corner kicks.
However, the Wolfpack tied the match again with less than two minutes remaining in the first overtime period, and the score remained at 4-4 throughout the second period of extra time.
East Surry elected to kick second in the penalty shootout. Walkertown converted its first attempt and was able to stop the Cardinals’ initial try. The Wolfpack held a 1-0 lead.
The teams exchanged points until East Surry goalie Ryan Sutterby made a critical save with his team trailing 3-2. The Cardinals converted their next attempt to force a 3-3 tie.
Sutterby once again came up big with a save on Walkertown’s very next attempt. Gonzalo Chavez stepped up with a chance to clinch the victory for East Surry, and he calmly slotted it past the keeper for the win.
East Surry will look to keep its momentum rolling when it hosts Bishop McGuinness on Thursday.