Huskies trip Avery 5-3
by Steve Behr Sports Editor
WEST JEFFERSON -- Ashe County gave up three first-half goals to Watauga in a loss to the Pioneers on Monday. The Huskies made sure that would not happen again Wednesday against Avery.
Ashe put three goals on the scoreboard in the first half, and then held on to claim a 5-3 victory over visiting Avery, which was playing in its first game of the season.
Ashe eventually lost to Watauga 4-0, but the Huskies' fast start against Avery made sure they would not make it two straight setbacks. Jamie Weaver scored two goals, and Cesar Ruiz scored two for Ashe in the game.
It could have been much worse, but Avery keeper Alex Magner made several saves, including a diving effort in the first half that robbed the Huskies of a goal.
"(Avery) plays a style of defense that keeps them in a lot of games," Ashe coach Wes Rousseau said. "Their keeper is as good as any other keeper that I've seen other than the kid at Watauga. Their keeper, for two years now, has turned away shot after shot. He did another good job of that tonight."
Weaver scored the Huskies' first two goals. On his first goal, Weaver got an assist from Frank Ledezma, who dribbled the ball up the left side of the field and found Weaver close to the goal.
Kendall Wagner scored the second goal from about 10 yards away from the Avery net. He shook off a sliding defender and shot the ball just before contact was made.
Cesar Ruiz scored the Huskies' third goal with 18:59 left in the first half after he slipped the ball past Magner to give Ashe a 3-0 halftime lead.
"At points, I thought we passed the ball well and showed some patience," Rousseau said. "We still were a little sloppy for my taste tonight. We've got some work to do before we get up to our conference schedule."
Avery used its power to get back into the game in the second half. Leonel Castaneda scored from 25 yards out with 30 minutes left in the game to close the Ashe led to 3-1.
Julio Rodriguez's shot from about the same distance went through the Ashe keeper's hands and into the goal, which brought the Vikings to within 3-2.
Weaver put the match out of reach with a goal off a well-placed pass from Ledezma with 18:50 left to push the Huskies back in front 4-2. Four minutes later, Ruiz scored again, this time from a shot from the right side, to give the Huskies a 5-2 lead.
"We don't necessarily have the size of that nature to go shoulder to shoulder with a team like Ashe," Avery coach Bruce Daniels said. "So, what we try to do is to move into space and open up as much as we can. Unfortunately, it's just a quality opponent with Ashe. They really know how to shut down the passing lanes."
Rodriguez scored the final goal of the game with a little over a minute left. There was some confusion in the crowd as to whether it was a goal since the net did not move when the ball got to it.
However, there is a hole in the back of the net and the ball did not hit any of the string.