Watauga girls' soccer team beats Asheville
by Staff Reports
MORGANTON — In its first game, Watauga’s girls’ soccer team endured a tough loss against an Asheville team. A week later, the Pioneers turned in a hard-fought victory against another Asheville team.
Watauga finished in a 1-1 tie with Asheville, but beat the Cougars in penalty kicks 4-3 in the first round of the Catawba Valley Soccer Classic. A save by Watauga freshman goal keeper Heather Ostwalt on Asheville’s first penalty kick gave the Pioneers a boost that helped them beat Asheville.
Hannah Younger, Tori Derrick, Lillie Brady and Abby Carson scored the penalty-kick goals for the Pioneers.
“It was a great save,” Watauga coach Brittany Bolick said. “The (Asheville) girl was hitting it toward the left post and Heather got a good start on it and made the save with one hand. It was the first kick and it gave the girls kicking for us a little confidence that they had some reprieve.”
Watauga went into the game looking to forget a 7-1 loss to A.C. Reynolds on Feb. 27. Tristin Derrick scored the only goal in that game, that coming in the first half.
Derrick struck again against Asheville. This time, Derrick got free on a breakaway and used her speed to stay in front of the Cougars’ defense.
From there, Derrick beat the Asheville keeper for the goal.
“Her initial burst for five yards is really fast,” Bolick said.
Watauga also had to play with just 10 players instead of 11 after one of the Pioneers received a red card in the first half. Bolick said the Pioneers had to play with extra effort to make up for being a player down.
“We could have been frustrated and we could have gotten beat,” Bolick said. “I think we played better and with a little more fire after the call was made.”
Watauga’s improvement could be marked in the results of A.C Reynolds and Asheville. The Cougars beat powerful Hickory 2-0 and A.C. Reynolds tied Hickory 1-1.
“It’s a huge win for us,” Bolick said. “It’s a big confidence boost. To win against an Asheville team, especially a tight game with how young we are speaks volumes about the girls.”
Watauga plays border rival Avery at 7 p.m. Thursday. The game was originally scheduled for Tuesday, but was moved because of inclement weather.