Elks, Falcons win soccer playoff openers
Rams fall in double OT on the road
Matthew Gorry Sports Writer
ELKIN — The soccer state playoffs started with a bang Wednesday night for area clubs.
In Elkin, the Buckin’ Elks routed visiting Hayesville, 9-0, to notch the mercy-rule victory in the opening round of the 1A postseason.
Elkin fired home six goals in the first half to take a commanding lead into the break before finishing things off with three more goals in the first 20 minutes of the second half.
“We had a lot of opportunities to put the ball back in the net,” Head Coach Heath Foster said. “Our biggest thing is getting the first couple in, and when that happens, we can get the ball rolling. We did that tonight. We weren’t as slow to start as normal.
“We’ve been in a little bit of a funk, so it was nice to come out here and put some in early.”
Eight Elks scored on the night, led by a pair of goals by Jose Rojas. Luis Anorve, Daniel Cortes, Jacob Lyon, Jarrett Peterson, Matthew Schumak, Drew Shinkle and Reid Turner rounded out the offensive onslaught.
Shinkle and Juan Anuario added two assists apiece.
The Elks, now 12-9-2 on the year, return to the pitch Saturday against Swain County (11-5-1) in the second round. The Maroon Devils edged Cherokee, 3-2, in overtime in their opener.
In East Bend, after four scoreless overtime periods, the 2A first-round match-up between Forbush and Forest Hills had to be settled with penalty kicks.
The Falcons fired all home five shots to punch their ticket into the second round with a thrilling 5-3 victory.
“We’ve practiced them for months,” Head Coach Seth Davis said. “The main thing was talking to my keeper (Ian Grooms) and give him some confidence. I needed him to stop one PK because everybody is expected to make their shot. Fortunately we did and caught the break.”
After Forbush grabbed a 3-2 lead on PK goals by Robert Cornelius, Jason McCormick and Gilberto Herrera, the Yellow Jackets blasted their third shot off the post.
Ryan Miller pushed the lead out to 4-2 with a goal before Alan Clark rocketed the Falcons into the next round with the game-winner.
“My guys just kept fighting and it finally came around for us,” Davis said.
Forbush dominated the four overtime sessions, out-shooting Forest Hills by 15 shots, but could not find the back of the net — a theme that nearly doomed the team.
“In the first five minutes, we missed four or five shots that we should have put in, and that kind of set the tone for the rest of the game,” Davis explained. “It gets to a point where you get frustrated and you start pressing. They saw how the game was going and realized if they get it to penalty kicks, it really is a better opportunity for them.”
Forbush (15-4-1) will travel to West Caldwell (18-3-1) in the second round. The Warriors topped East Lincoln 5-1 in their first-round game.
In Davidson, Starmount gave Community School of Davidson all they wanted in the 1A opening round, pushing the Spartans to double overtime.
Trailing 2-0 late, seniors Nathan Walker and Juan Noveron brought the Rams even with a pair of goals in the final seven minutes to send the game to overtime knotted at 2-all.
In the second extra session, Dylan Timoney lifted a free kick from the left side of the 18 into the net for the go-ahead goal with three minutes remaining that proved to be the game-winner.
“The one thing that I am proud of most of all is that we never gave up and we never quit the entire season,” Head Coach Dale Draughn said. “One of the players told me as we walked to the bus,’ Coach, I want to thank you for not giving up on us, you believed in us until the final whistle and that means a lot.’”
Evan Stinson turned in a strong performance in goal for the Rams, stopping 11 of the 14 shots he faced, including a penalty kick in the overtime period.
Starmount’s season ends at 5-12-3.
Reach Matthew Gorry at 835-1513 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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