WINSTON-SALEM — With losses in four of their last six matches and staring a 1-3 league record in the face, Wednesday night’s rematch with Atkins was a must-win contest for North Surry’s soccer team.
The Greyhounds got the win they needed in order to stay in the Western Piedmont Athletic Conference race, as senior Vincent Hernandez found the back of the net for the third time with 3:10 remaining and lifted North to a 4-3 victory over the Camels.
Atkins (7-8-1, 3-4 WPAC) had stunned North Surry 4-0 when the teams played on Sept. 10 at Toast, and the setback was the start of the Hounds’ problems after a promising 4-0-1 start to the season. When North got another crack at the Camels on Atkins’ field, the team was determined to get off on the right foot, and the Hounds did just that.
Hernandez did a lot of the work during the opening 20 minutes, when he lifted North (7-4-1, 2-3) to a 2-0 lead. The first goal came off a pass from Dylan Hernandez in the sixth minute of play, and the second occurred when the Hounds were awarded a direct kick just outside the 18-yard box. Hernandez took the direct kick and put it past the keeper for the second North goal.
However, the Camels turned the tables in the second 20 minutes and scored two goals of their own, leaving the match tied at the break.
About 15 minutes into the second half, Joseph Rangel scored off a pass from Vincent Hernandez, and North Surry went back in front, 3-2. Atkins responded with another goal of its own with about 10 minutes left in the contest.
Vincent Hernandez’ final goal came from close-in, and came on a shot that ricocheted off one of the defenders and went past the keeper to put the Hounds back in front, 4-3.
“I thought the ball would have gone in even if no one had touched it, but we’ll take it either way,” said North Surry head coach Eric Jessup.
The Hounds are off until Monday night, when they will host WPAC basement-dweller Walkertown (7-8-1, 0-7). North won 5-2 at Walkertown on Sept. 12.