RONDA — The East Wilkes Cardinals soccer team has had several outstanding games this season. On Wednesday night, the Cardinals showed off their skills as they took a 7-2 win over North Wilkes to earn their fourth conference win of the season. The Cardinals have swept the Vikings this season, last month the Cards beat the Vikings 8-0.
Carlos Aquino had a great game for the Cardinals as he scored four goals, and had several key plays during the game. In the first half, Aquino started things off for East Wilkes as he scored the opening goal in the 19th minute of play. The Cardinals’ defense cleared the ball out of the back to find Spencer Kranz’s feet. Kranz then found Aquino, who beat a defender to find the back of the net and give East Wilkes a 1-0 lead.
While it looked like the Cardinals were in control of the game, North Wilkes earned a penalty kick just two minutes later after a handball was called in the 18-yard box. The Vikings leveled the game 1-1, and started putting pressure on the Cardinals. East Wilkes kept going at the Vikings’ defense with several breakaways, until Alex Redding finally broke through to find Aquino’s feet, who then found the back of the net and put the Cardinals ahead 2-1 with eight minutes left in the half. Two minutes later, Kranz found his first goal of the night to give East Wilkes a 3-1 lead heading into halftime. Kranz’s goal was assisted by Nathan Wagoner.
The second half, the Cardinals wasted no time jumping on North Wilkes. It took Aquino 40 seconds to score his third goal of the night, earning himself a hat trick and giving East Wilkes a 4-1 lead. The Cardinals opened up the field throughout the second half with precise passes that resulted in several clean shots on goal. Four minutes into the half, the Cardinals earned a penalty kick after a North Wilkes handball. The first attempt from the penalty kick was no good, but the referee called a re-kick as the North Wilkes keeper had moved before the shot was taken. The second attempt was made by Jonathan Lopez, who earned his first goal of the night to give East Wilkes a 5-1 lead.
Two minutes later, North Wilkes found a goal to cut the Cardinals’ lead, 5-2. The goal for the Vikings didn’t stop the Cardinals’ momentum as Aquino found himself another goal in the final 20 minutes of play. With a 6-2 lead, the Cardinals didn’t let up as they found another goal in the final minute of play. Lopez beat two defenders and put the game away for East Wilkes, as it came away with a 7-2 win.
With the win, East Wilkes moves to 6-1 overall, and 4-6 in the MVAC. The Cardinals’ next game is Oct. 17 against West Wilkes. Kickoff is set for 5:15 p.m.
Kristian Russell can be reached on Twitter @YadkinElkSports.