Pioneers settle for 1-1 tie with West Caldwell
by Steve Behr Sports Editor
A tie might be better than a win, but Watauga’s boys’ soccer team saw a win slip through its fingers.
Watauga held a one-goal lead until West Caldwell scored a goal with 49.9 seconds left and forced a 1-1 tie with the Pioneers. It was Watauga’s first tie of the season.
Watauga (6-1-1) turns its attention to Fred T. Foard, which is the Pioneers’ first Northwestern Conference game. Foard, ranked seventh in the state 4-A rankings, hosts Watauga on Monday.
Watauga also hosts Hickory, the No. 4 team in the 3-A rankings, on Wednesday.
“It’s a little hard to get energy for the last nonconference game, because we have such big games next week,” Pioneers coach Woody McKay said. “We play Foard, which is ranked seventh in the state on Monday and then Hickory here Wednesday night. It felt like we were putting in one more game, and we haven’t played in over a week.”
Watauga, after playing to a scoreless first half, finally broke through the West Caldwell defense with a goal from Collin Kreis-Potgieter with 30:40 left in the game. Kreis-Potgieter got a crossing pass from Logan Raichle after Raichle chased a pass down to the left corner of the field.
It looked like the Pioneers would be able to hold the lead. Watauga Jake Chasteen made a save on a close shot with 7:45 left in the game, but that seemed to be the only major threat to Watauga’s defense.
The Pioneers got somewhat close to the West Caldwell defense, but struggled to get many strong shots directly at the Warriors’ goal.
“We had a lot of chances,” McKay said. “but couldn’t quite get them. Quite honestly, I’d rather get them next week than this week, if I could choose.”
Still, the Pioneers looked like they would pick up the win until a West Caldwell throw-in bounced around in front of the goal until the Warriors put it in the back of the net.
The two overtime periods did not provide any major scoring threats.
“They got a throw-in and then they flicked it,” McKay said. “We let it hang out in the box too long and they took a shot and it went in.”
West Caldwell looked like it scored another goal six minutes into the second half, but the Warriors were called for offsides.