The Lady Wildcats handed Surry Central a 2-1 loss Wednesday behind star forward Zoe Wehr. The sophomore supplied an assist in the first half and scored the game-winning goal with 17:47 remaining in the match.
West Stokes (12-3-1, 3-0-1) entered the Western Piedmont Athletic Conference showdown ranked fourth in the state by maxpreps.com. Surry Central (10-5-2, 2-2) hoped to redeem themselves after coming off a crushing 4-0 loss to Forbush days earlier.
The Lady Eagles got off to a slow start and couldn’t hold on to the ball in the opening ten minutes. West Stokes’ possession put a ton of pressure on Surry Central’s defense and specifically goalkeeper Makenzie Mooney.
The Wildcats had three shots on target in the opening stages of the game, but Mooney’s saves kept the score tied.
However, West Stokes broke the deadlock in the 30th minute. Wildcat defender Anyssa Van Meter set things up with a nice pass into the midfield and then made a darting run upfield. Eventually, Van Meter got into the penalty box, received a crisp pass from Wehr, and tucked away her shot into the bottom right corner.
The Eagles had a chance to equalize right before halftime. All night, Surry Central was threatening from corner kicks and throw-ins, and with 2:57 left in the first period, Mirian Hernandez whipped in a swerving cross that needed just a flick to find the back of the net, but no Lady Eagle attacker could make contact and it rolled behind for a goal kick.
When the teams returned to the field for intermission, Surry Central found a new intensity and seemed to dominate possession at times. The Lady Wildcat defenders made it difficult to create easy goal-scoring opportunities, but Surry Central imposed its will in the midfield.
Surry Central received a reward for its efforts with an equalizing goal 11 minutes into the second half. The Eagles were stringing passes together just outside the penalty box when Sophia Valle latched on to a low cross from Hernandez. Valle took one touch closer to goal and ripped a strike into the top right corner for a 1-1 tie.
The Lady Eagles kept their foot on the pedal, but West Stokes executed a perfect counter-attack to score the decisive goal. Goalkeeper Liz Nail launched a punt into the Surry Central half of the field and Kirbi Hunter turned it upfield. Hunter and Wehr played a pair of passes to each other before Wehr launched a left-footed shot near post and past Mooney for a 2-1 lead.
The game-winning goal from Wehr was taken from a near-impossible angle, but Eagles Coach Richardson wasn’t surprised it found the back of the net.
“When (Wehr) gets the ball with that much space, you just hope whoever is on her can contain her and just keep the ball in front. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to do that on her goal,” Richardson said.
West Stokes hosts Forbush Tuesday night beginning at 5:30.
Sauras fall to Mount Airy
Some called it a stroke of luck when Mount Airy defeated South Stokes 1-0 at home Monday night.
The Lady Bears struggled for much of the non-conference showdown, but managed to pull out a victory despite being badly outplayed for long stretches of the match. Mount Airy took the lead on a 35-yard free kick that sailed over South Stokes keeper Mary Weaver’s head with 16:03 remaining, and managed to hang on the rest of the way.
The Lady Sauras (6-9) outshot Mount Airy and had possession of the ball for roughly two-thirds of the evening.
The teams battled to a scoreless draw in the first half. The first Mount Airy shot on goal didn’t come until the 11th minute, and it came off the foot of Jessica Miranda, who had come up from the back. It would be more than 17 minutes before the Lady Bears had another serious opportunity.
In the meantime, South Stokes pressed the attack. In the 24th minute, South earned two corner kicks in a matter of about 20 seconds. The first one was earned when Stokes’ Anna-Kate Cheek broke free down the home side of the field, only to have the ball kicked away, past the end line. On the second one, the ball settled in front of the net and was booted away from the goal.
With about six minutes left in the opening half, Souths’ Lilly Weaver took a close-in shot that the keeper deflected, but couldn’t cover up. The ball ricocheted to the other side of the net, where Grace Halpern made a diving save to her right at the last moment.
The second half brought more trouble, as South Stokes realized that Mount Airy was struggling to control the midfield and began kicking long balls deep into Lady Bears’ defensive end. At seven minutes in, when the Lady Sauras’ Madison Green won the race to such a ball and had an uncontested shot at Halpern from eight yards away. Somehow, she reacted in time to knock the ball away, but it rebounded in front of the goal in the direction of Weaver. Mount Airy’s Gabbi Troutman got there first.
The big moment came five minutes after that, when Greenwood took a free kick following a handball 35 yards from the Stokes goal. The freshman’s perfectly placed kick sailed over Weaver’s head and gave the Lady Bears an improbable lead.
South Stokes hosts Bishop McGuinness in a non-conference match on Thursday beginning at 7 p.m.
Lady Vikings draw with North Surry
North Surry took a quick early lead when Alexa Hernandez shot five yards in front of North Stokes keeper Meghan Mabe to gain a 1-0 advantage just after 89 seconds of play.
Thankfully, it was the last goal the Lady Hounds would take, and the Vikings scored with 2:13 left on the clock to take the 1-1 draw.
The tying goal came on one of a number of scoring chances North Stokes (4-11-1) had in the second half.
The final push by the Lady Vikings came with time running under four minutes to go. It had been nine minutes since the Hounds faced a seriously dangerous shot, but in the final sequence, North Stokes earned a series of corner kicks which the North Surry defense kept deflecting past the end line. Finally one went into play. At first, the Lady Hounds cleared it from in front of the net, but North Stokes kept it close enough and finally forced a melee in front of the goal, where one of their players got a foot on the ball and angled it inside the left post.
North Stokes travels to East Surry for a conference matchup beginning at 6 p.m.