Pioneers fall to Hickory 3-2 in boys' soccer
by Staff Reports
HICKORY — Hickory’s boys’ soccer team rarely loses Northwestern Conference games. Sweeping the Red Tornadoes is a difficult order.
Watauga had the best chance to do both Thursday night, but fell short 3-2 at Hickory’s field. The Pioneers (12-2-3, 5-1-2) lost in the NWC for the first time all season.
Hickory (15-1, 6-1), ranked second in 3-A soccer by the North Carolina Coaches Association, holds the inside track to the NWC championship. Both the Red Tornadoes and the Pioneers have a conference loss, but Watauga’s two ties gives Hickory a tie-breaker advantage if both teams win the remainder of their games.
Watauga trailed 3-0 early in the second half. Alex Parsons scored two second-half goals for the Pioneers, but Hickory was able to hold on a win the game. Parsons scored two goals in Watauga’s 3-1 victory over Hickory in Jack Groce Stadium on Sept. 12.
That win was part of a 10-game span that saw the Pioneers win seven and tie three games.
Watauga has four NWC games left. The Pioneers host Alexander Central on Oct. 15, and follow with a game at South Caldwell two days later.
They close out the season with a home game against Hibriten on Oct. 22, and play at St. Stephens on Oct. 24.
Watauga junior varsity lost to Hickory 1-0 in a match delayed by the late arrival of officials.
Each half was shortened by 10 minutes as a result. Hickory scored a goal in the first 10 minutes of the first half against the Pioneers, who were shorthanded because of players missing because of a variety of reasons.
Watauga started its season with a 13-0 record, but has lost its last three games. They host Alexander Central on Oct. 15.