The Watauga High men's soccer team has put together one of its best seasons since the Doug Kidd ear. And the Pioneers (16-3-3) extended their memorable
season by knocking off Mallard Creek, the No.5 seed from the I-Meck Conference, 2-1 Thursday night at Jack Groce Stadium in the opening round of the North Carolina High School Athletic Association Class 4A state soccer playoffs.
Unassisted goals by Alex Parsons and Trey Ollis erased a 1-0 halftime deficit and saved WHS. Parsons scored on a direct kick at the 60-minute mark to tie the game; Ollis picked up a loose ball off a scramble and punched it in for the game winner 12 minutes later.
"And their keeper never saw it," WHS coach Woody McKay said. "We really stepped it up late in the first half and pressed them hard in the second half. You have to remember, we haven't practiced outside since last Friday. So we were pretty flat during the first 15 minutes of the match."
The win avenged a post-season loss to Mallard Creek (11-11-2), which lost three of its last four games to end the season. And the win also moves WHS into a second-round match against A.C. Reynolds (16-4-2) Saturday at 6 p.m. at "The Groce."
The Rockets, the No.2 seed from the Mountain Athletic 3A/4A Conference, defeated Charlotte-Olympic 6-1 Thursday night. The Rockets defeated WHS 2-1 in Asheville way back on August 27, handing the Pioneers their first setback of the season. The winner of Saturday's match will play either Cornelius-Hough or West Meclenburg in the sectional finals next week.
Ashe County (25-1-1) advanced as the Huskies came from behind to beat Central Davidson 3-2 at home Thursday night in a Class 2A first-round game. Cesar Ruiz scored twice to pace the Huskies, including the game winner with less than two minutes to play.
The Huskies will play Trinity in a second-round game at home Saturday. Trinity advanced by knocking off West Stanly, 7-0.
THURSDAY NIGHT'S GAMES
WATAUGA 2, MALLARD CREEK 1
A.C. REYNOLDS 6, CHARLOTTE-OLYMPIC 1
LAKE NORMAN 3, ALEXANDER CENTRAL 0
HICKORY 9, SOUTH POINT 0
ST. STEPHENS 3, WEST HENDERSON 0
FRED T. FOARD 2, EAST HENDERSON 1 (OT)
ASHE COUNTY 3, CENTRAL DAVIDSON 2
TRINITY 7, WEST STANLY 0
AVERY 2, WEST WILKES 1
A.C. REYNOLDS @ WATAUGA, 6 P.M.
ST. STEPHENS @ FREEDOM
PATTON @ HICKORY
FRED T. FOARD @ ASHBROOK
TRINITY @ ASHE COUNTY, 4 P.M.
AVERY @ ELKIN