ELKIN - Playing without leading scorer Makayla Dimmette, the Lady Elks needed someone to step up and fill the void.
In stepped Payton Nicholson.
Nicholson had the hot foot Tuesday night against local rival East Wilkes, scoring the only two goals in the contest to power Elkin to the 2-0 shutout victory.
“I’ll take the win, especially with it being in conference and being 1A, but I wasn’t happy,” head coach Heath Foster explained. “I told them in the huddle that there wasn’t a lot of positives I could say about tonight.”
In a quick start by the offense, the Elks peppered the East goal with nearly 15 shots in the first half.
Nineteen minutes in, Nicholson finally broke through, finding the back of the net off the assist by Deyonna Gonzales to give Elkin an early 1-0 advantage.
Four minutes later, Nicholson quickly doubled the Elks’ lead with her second goal of the half to extend the lead out to 2-0.
But despite the 15 shots in the half and more than 20 in the game, Elkin was unable to capitalize on more scoring opportunities.
“A win is a win, but this is two games in a row when we’ve said ‘a win is a win’ when we should have capitalized on more opportunities and kept it not so close,” Foster said. “We had over 20 shots but we can’t seem to find the corner of the goal - we always shoot right at the keeper. And it’s frustrating.
“We had 10 or 12 shots inside the 18, two or three free kicks and probably had 10 corner kicks and we didn’t do diddlysquat with any of them,” he added.
Elkin improves to 6-5 in the Mountain Valley Conference and keeps pace in the race for the 1A title with West Wilkes. The Blackhawks (7-4) come to town next Friday in a matchup of the top two 1A squads.
“This was our third straight conference win, but we still trail West Wilkes,” Foster said. “We’re still in a little bit of a hole.”
Reach Matthew Gorry at 835-1513 or firstname.lastname@example.org.