Watauga boys' soccer team dumps Spartans
by Steve Behr Sports Editor
Watauga's boys' soccer team struck quickly and often in its 6-1 victory over Northwestern Conference rival South Caldwell Monday at Jack Groce Stadium.
The Pioneers (15-2-1, 8-2-1) scored five goals in the first half and never looked back. They'll take on St. Stephens, one of just two teams to beat them this season, on Wednesday at Jack Groce Stadium while still holding a chance to win the Northwestern Conference championship.
South Caldwell (2-16-1, 1-10-0) lost its sixth straight.
"There's no place like home," Watauga coach Woody McKay said. "We're used to the turf. We know how to play the through balls."
McKay said South Caldwell was playing a similar defense to the one it plays in a close loss to Fred T. Foard, which didn't work against Watauga because of the speed of the Pioneers' front players and because of the FieldTurf that is used at Jack Groce Stadium.
"They were playing up high, which doesn't work against us," McKay said. "It will work against a team -- they were trying to play high pressure because it worked against Fred T. Foard the other night because the back line at Foard made some mistakes. Our back line is solid. If they're up, then we're going to play a through ball and Justin Hall is so quick that he's going to beat folks to it."
Watauga got a hat trick from Justin Hall, who also had an assist. Hall scored two of his goals in the first half and the only goal in the second half, which was assisted by Matt Hall.
Hall was not the only weapon Watauga used against South Caldwell. The Pioneers got a goal and two assists from Logan Raichle, and goals from Tucker Chasteen and Nick Kellner.
It didn't take long for Watauga to get on the scoreboard. Canyon Mueller found Raichle for a goal in just the sixth minute of the game to put Watauga in front 1-0.
Six minutes later, Raichle picked up the assist on Chasteen's goal. South Caldwell answered with a goal two minutes later, but Watauga struck back a minute later with Justin Hall's first goal on a Raichle assist.
Kellner added a goal in the game's 30th minute off an assist from Justin Hall, who scored three minutes later on a Raichle goal to give the Pioneers a 5-1 halftime lead.
Watauga turns its attention to its final three games of the regular season. The Pioneers host St. Stephens Wednesday, plays at Fred T. Foard on Oct. 21 and hosts Freedom on the final game of the regular season on Oct. 23.
Watauga lost 1-0 to St. Stephens in Hickory and beat Foard 1-0 at home. The Pioneers settled for a 1-1 tie with Freedom in Morganton.
The combined overall record for those teams this season is 37-13-5. First on the list is St. St. Stephens, who beat Watauga in one game last year and tied the Pioneers in the other game in 2012.
"They're disciplined and when they do get a chance to score, they're pretty good at it," McKay said of St. Stephens. "They had one chance to score in the second half and we had probably 10 and six good ones, but they put theirs in and we didn't."