The regular season came to an end for the Western Piedmont Athletic Conference in soccer on Thursday evening, and just in the nick of time.
North Surry and Surry Central moved the start time for their match up by an hour, and the Lady Eagles headed into postseason play with a 4-0 road victory over their county rivals. The match ended just before an oncoming storm began to drop heavy rain on the field.
“This was a good team win, everybody got significant minutes and I’m proud of how we played,” said Central head coach Matt Richardson.
Central, which finished the regular season 12-8 overall and 4-4 in conference play, already knew that it was the No. 3 team out of the WPAC beforehand, but the win was still important for seeding purposes. The Lady Eagles’ Taylor Cochran scored a hat trick in the victory, with Mallory Spagnoletti getting the other goal.
The win was a nice bounce-back for Central, which had lost to West Stokes by the same score on Wednesday night, in a match where the Lady Wildcats had a share of the conference title on the line. That match, which will likely be the last one the Lady Eagles play at home this spring, was Central’s Senior Night.
Coming off a tough loss against a very strong team (West Stokes is the state’s sixth-ranked 2A team, according to MaxPreps.com), Richardson was concerned about having to play again less than 18 hours later, but the Lady Eagles responded to the challenge.
“We had a game last night, so I was little bit worried about fatigue,” he said. “Coming out with some energy was a point of emphasis for us, and we got the two quick goals. We knew the rain was coming. We wanted to have a quick start just in case, and we did that.”
Cochran led the attack as Central jumped out to a quick early advantage. She scored in the third and the sixth minute, and that early 2-0 lead stood up through the end of the first half.
After the break, the Lady Eagles seemed recharged, and quickly tacked on two more goals in the first few minutes of the second half.
“We were really moving the ball around well,” Richardson said.
Cochran finished off her hat trick in the 45th minute, and after the ensuing kickoff, Central quickly won possession of the ball again, and in the 47th minute, Spagnoletti found the back of the net with the final goal of the match.
The rain began in the final minutes of the contest, but the teams were able to finish the match and get off the field before anything became unsafe.