This isn’t the way North Surry wanted its 2016 soccer season to end, but when the Greyhounds’ campaign came to an end on Saturday night in the first round of the NCHSAA 2A state playoffs, the focus was on what had been accomplished, not the results of the last match.
The Hounds lost 4-0 in a match against Southern District 7 runner-up West Caldwell, a showdown that saw North Surry get the better of play for most of the first half, but never get a ball into the net against the Warriors. In the second half, the speedy forwards for West finally managed to crack the Hounds’ defense and gradually pulled away. North;s Javier Vera appeared to have scored a goal in the 69th minute of the match, but the officials waved it off and then the Warriors scored less than 30 seconds later.
West Caldwell (14-8-1) finally broke a scoreless tie in the 46th minute, when the Warriors put a goal into the net in a melee in front of the Hounds’ goal, then added a second one less than a minute later when North had a defensive breakdown. Less than five minutes later, they extended the lead to 3-0.
North’s Victor Casa nearly scored seconds after the third goal, getting a wide-open shot about 15 yards out, but fired it too high over the net.
In any case, following the match, the team was congratulated on its season, which at 15-6-2 ended with the best record in the history of Greyhound boys’ soccer. In one season, North Surry went from a 3-17-2 mark to a state playoff berth — an 11 1/2 game turnaround that was one of the most impressive in the state this year. The Hounds began the season with an 11-match unbeaten streak (9-0-2) and then finished third in a Western Piedmont Athletic Conference that included two of the state’s strongest 2A teams, unbeaten Forbush and 18-4-1 Surry Central.
North Surry’s 15 wins this season were only one less than the Hounds had won in the 2013 through 2015 seasons combined.
The match completed the careers of seniors Casa, Jonathan Cabrera, Alexis Cortez, Eduardo Luna, Diony Hernandez, Ivan Barrientos, Vincent Hernandez and Alfredo Vazquez. Several of these players played for North’s interim coach Phil Jordan five years earlier, when the soccer team at Gentry Middle had an undefeated season. The reunion this year proved memorable as well.