The Watauga High men's soccer team made a huge statement this week. The Pioneers (2-0 Northwestern 3A/4A Conference; 8-1-1 overall), defeated a pair of top-ten teams in a three-day span. WHS, which knocked off No.7 Fred
T. Foard (in Class 3A) Monday night, followed that up with a 3-1 win against No.4 Hickory (in Class 3A) at Jack Groce Stadium Wednesday night. Alex Parsons led the charge with a pair of goals.
He scored the game-tying goal at the 55-minute mark with an unassisted goal; he scored the game-clinching goal with 18 seconds to go into an empty net as the Red Tornadoes (9-1; 0-1) moved everyone up, including the goalkeeper, on a corner kick in the final minute of the game.
"We did a great job clearing the ball out," said WHS coach Woody McKay. "And I kept Alex out of the box, which created that breakaway opportunity. Now, we're not two goals better than Hickory, but on this night, we were the better team. Our defense, especially our goalkeeper Jake Chasteen, did a great job holding them off."
Collin Kreis-Potgeiter scored the go-ahead goal at the 56-minute mark of the second half to snap a 1-1 tie. Logan Raichle picked up an assist on the play. Carlos Sevilla gave Hickory the lead with a goal in the first half. The loss also snapped Hickory's 32-match winning streak in the NW3A/4A. The last team to beat Hickory was St. Stephens. The Indians defeated Hickory 1-0 on September 28, 2009. The win was also the first for WHS against Hickory since the conference was organized in 2009-10.
The win should also vault WHS into the EuroSport Top 15 in Class 4A. The Pioneers haven't been ranked since the Doug Kidd era. They were ranked as high as fifth in 1999 (the highest ranking in school history).
"It was a great week for our prorgam," McKay said. "We beat two top-ten teams that were also both undefeated. I don't know if we'll get a ranking, but I am proud of the way we played in the last two games. Foard and Hickory back-to-back is a tough way to open league play. I'm glad we're 2-0. It's better than 0-2."
The Pioneers were also without one of their top defenders. Justin Wolfe suffered a pulled hamstring in a showcase tournament last weekend and did not play against the Tigers or the Red Tornadoes. The Pioneers haven't won a conference championship since 2007---ironically, Kidd's last season as head coach. WHS travels to West Forsyth next Monday night.
WHS won the JV game, 1-0. Jakey Irwin scored the Pioneers' goal; Zach Valet picked up the assist.
WHS TENNIS WHIPS EAST WILKES
The Watauga High women's tennis team defeated East Wilkes 8-1 Wednesday night in a non-conference match. The Pioneers (7-0) set the tone by sweeping the Cardinals in singles play. Meredith Smith, Hannah Petersen, Nicole Fox, Emily Burwell, Kelsi Kanoy, and Annika Davidson led the charge in singles; Smith and Fox picked up a win at No.1 doubles, Petersen and Burwell picked up a win at No.2, Kanoy and Davidson won their match at No.3 doubles.
"The girls did very well for not playing a match last week," said WHS coach Anna DeChellis. "The top six came out strong in singles to win for us, making it 5-1 going into doubles. Both Nicole Fox and Emily Burwell fought hard to win their singles matches which came down to a 10 point tiebreaker. Fortunately, they both came out with a victory. Meredith Smith and Fox looked strong at 1st singles with great net work. Kelsi Kanoy and Annika Davidson were down in doubles 4-7, but I told them that it was not over. They did not give up one more game, winning their match 9-7."
WHs travels to Alexander Central this afternoon for a 4 p.m. match.
WHS 8, EAST WILKES 1
1st: Meredith Smith vs. Kelly Johnson 6-0, 6-2 WIN
2nd: Hannah Petersen vs. ShaNisha White 6-1, 6-0 WIN
3rd: Nicole Fox vs. Hannah Brown 6-2, 3-6, 10-5 WIN
4th: Emily Burwell vs. Molly Callaway 6-7 (tiebreaker 2-7), 6-0, 10-5 WIN
5th: Kelsi Kanoy vs. Christy Carter 6-1, 6-3 WIN
6th: Annika Davidson vs. Marigail Mahaffey 3-6, 2-6 LOSS
1st: Smith/Fox vs. White/Brown 8-2 WIN
2nd: Petersen/Burwell vs. Johnson/Mahaffey 8-5 WIN
3rd: Kanoy/Davidson vs. Callaway/Carter 9-7 WIN
4th: Gab Neufeld/Ali Maupin vs. ____ 4-8 LOSS
5th: Savannah Copeland/Taylor Paige vs. _____ 7-5 WIN
6th: Kylie Winkelmann/Jessica Benyon vs. ________ 7-5 WIN
7th: Gab Neufeld/Ali Maupin vs. ____ 8-0 WIN
8th: Savannah Copeland/Taylor Paige vs. _____ 8-2 WIN
9th: Kylie Winkelmann/Jessica Benyon vs. ________ 6-1 WIN
Addie Hall vs. _____ 6-0 WIN
WHS JV FOOTBALL v. FRED T. FOARD, 7 P.M.
WHS WOMEN'S TENNIS @ ALEXANDER CENTRAL, 4 P.M.
WHS VOLLEYBALL @ ALEXANDER CENTRAL, 5 P.M.