Watauga boys' soccer team beats Alexander Central
by Steve Behr Sports Editor
Watauga's boys' soccer team did not score a goal against Alexander Central the last time the teams played. The Pioneers scored all the goals they needed Monday night at windy Jack Groce Stadium.
Watauga rebounded from a tough loss a week ago with a 3-1 victory over the Cougars to stay in the hunt for the Northwestern Conference championship. The Pioneers saw those title hopes take a strong hit with a 3-2 loss to first-place Hickory, but Watauga's victory over Alexander Central moves them closer to the No. 1 NWC berth in the state 4-A playoffs.
Watauga needed to rally for its victory over Alexander Central after the Cougars took a 1-0 lead on a goal just three minutes into the game. It was the first goal for either team in the season series since they played to a 0-0 tie in the first meeting.
It didn't take for Watauga to force a 1-1 tie Monday. Alex Parsons took a Tucker Chasteen pass, made a spin move and scored the tying goal. The Pioneers took the lead for good 10 minutes later when Chasteen found Justin Hall, who scored a goal to give Watauga a 2-1 lead.
“It was not a very pretty game, especially by giving up that early goal like that,” Watauga coach Woody McKay said. “Our guys did a good job keeping the ball down in the wind and scored two nice goals inside the box by just possessing it.”
Watauga added an insurance goal with 10 minutes left in the first half when Cam Linville headed in a Logan Raichle corner kick. All of Watauga's goals were scored while facing a wind that got colder as the sun set.
Watauga was able to keep Alexander Central far enough away from the Pioneers' goal in the second half to give up any points. The Cougars struggled with the wind, and the Pioneers were able to get everybody who dressed some playing time.
“In the second half, everybody got to play and it was a lot of fun,” McKay said. “We didn't get any more goals, but they didn't really threaten us either.”