DOBSON — Surry Central soccer couldn’t hold on to a lead in a 5-5 tie against Mount Airy 10 days ago, but the Golden Eagles refused to fall in the same trap in the rematch.
The Eagles took an early lead over the Granite Bears on Thursday and kept piling on, using long spells of possession and strong defensive work to dispose of Mount Airy with a 7-1 win.
“I’m tickled because we were disappointed with how we played last time against Mount Airy,” said Central coach Blake Roth. “We knew we were the better team from top to bottom, and we played an excellent game tonight.”
It took some time for the Surry Central (9-1-2) attack to find its groove, but the Eagles took a lead in the 17th minute thanks to a goal from Miguel Tello.
The left-footer sent in a dangerous shot off a free kick that fooled the Mount Airy (7-4-1) defense. Jesus Orozco, the Granite Bear goalie, and his defenders thought a Golden Eagle attacker would get a touch on the ball.
Instead, Tello’s shot whistled past everyone and just under Orozco’s arm for the opening goal.
The Golden Eagles used the momentum from this first goal to control the game and heavily possess the ball for large portions of the first half. They finally cashed in on this possession in the 27th minute with a goal from Justo Cristóbal.
Mount Airy responded well though and cut the deficit in half just three minutes later. Jeremy Chappell gathered the ball outside the penalty box and looked to find an open teammate before rocketing a shot far post and into the back of the net.
Central’s Brayan Gomez restored the Eagles’ two-goal lead with some trickery in the final minute of the first half.
Gomez got himself in scoring position by flicking the ball over the head of a Mount Airy defender and into the penalty box. He chased down his own pass and took a touch before firing a shot past Orozco for the 3-1 lead.
“Brayan just moves so well on the field,” Roth said. “When you watch film, it becomes obvious how much he knows about the game and how well he times his runs. You can see him constantly running side-to-side and putting himself in good position.”
The Golden Eagles’ offense continued to click in the second half with another goal fro Gomez in the opening five minutes. The Central forward now has four goals in his past two games.
The action quieted down until the Golden Eagle substitutes started to get involved. Josh Gibson scored twice in a seven-minute span.
Javier Villicana put the exclamation mark on this win with a 35-yard free kick in the 76th minute. His left-footed strike hit the Mount Airy goalie’s glove, then the crossbar before rolling in.
“I’m so pleased with our bench tonight, and especially for Josh,” Roth said. “He’s been a four-year player for us, and although he doesn’t play much, he works hard and he got his opportunity tonight.”
Surry Central faces Statesville on Monday in its last tune-up before conference play. Mount Airy will look to bounce back in its conference opener against Bishop McGuiness that same day.
Reach Jackson at 415-4702 and on twitter @jacksonfuller16