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Floyd deals Galax first loss

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The Buffaloes scored three goals in the second half to break open a tight match.

By Craig Worrell, Sports Editor

FLOYD -- Floyd County brought an end to Galax’s season-opening four-match win streak and remained undefeated itself on the young season with a convincing 5-1 win Monday. Though the Buffaloes (5-0) put five shots on goal to the Maroon Tide’s one in the first half, Galax (4-1) managed to stay within a goal heading into the second half, trailing just 2-1. Maroon Tide keeper Abbi Ponce made four nice saves in the first 12 minutes after intermission, but Floyd County’s almost-constant pressure on Galax’s defense finally paid off with two goals within five minutes of one another. The Buffaloes’ Monica Morris sent a direct kick to Sara Dominguez in front of the Maroon Tide goal, and Dominguez settled the ball and scored for a 3-1 Floyd lead in the 54th minute. Caroline Blevins added an unassisted goal less than five minutes later for a three-goal advantage. Sarah Schula capped the scoring in the 75th minute, curling a corner kick off of Ponce’s mitts and into the net for the 5-1 final margin. “They seemed to be going to the ball more than we were, and were just being more aggressive,” said Galax coach Troy Barkley, whose Maroon Tide was outshot 18-4 on the night, including a 13-2 shots on goal advantage, and had to defend seven Floyd corner kicks while attempting none. “I don’t think they’re any more skilled than we are by any means, they just seemed to have more intensity than us today going to the ball, and that caused us a lot of problems.” It was a corner kick that had given Floyd County the lead just four minutes into the match. Brook Williams’ entry pass zoomed past the Maroon Tide defense to a waiting Dominguez on the backside, and Dominguez didn’t so much shoot the ball as she allowed it to ricochet off her torso and into the net for the quick 1-0 lead. Good teamwork by Ponce and Helen Espinoza prevented the Buffs from doubling the lead less than a minute later. Ponce left the goal mouth to challenge a charging Caroline Blevins, getting a piece of Blevins’ shot, which had enough on it to keep trickling toward the goal. Espinoza swooped in and was able to clear the ball and keep Floyd’s lead at one goal. Galax knotted the match in the 26th minute on an unusual score by Jessica Reyes. A throw-in by Ashley Nale led Reyes up the right sideline, and Reyes centered the ball toward the Floyd County goal. Buffalo keeper Heather Linkous appeared to dodge the pass as if it were headed out of bounds, but the ball instead skittered into the back side of the goal for a 1-1 score. “I don’t think [Reyes] was trying to shoot, I think she was just trying to cross the ball in front of the goal, and it caught their goalie off guard,” said Barkley. “I don’t think anybody knew what happened back there, but we’ll take ’em like that if we can get them.” Galax was less than two minutes from taking a tie into the half when an own goal gave Floyd County the lead for good. Morris lined up for a direct kick some 30 yards out, and her shot caromed off a Maroon Tide defender and into the goal for a 2-1 Buffaloes lead. “I think next time we can make a few adjustments and we can give them a whole lot better game,” Barkley said. “It was a tough loss, but these are the types of teams we have to beat to go to state. To accomplish our goals, these are the teams we’ve got to beat. We’ve just got to keep working.”   Floyd County 5, Galax 1 Scoring summary: FC – Dominguez 4’ (Williams); Gx – J.Reyes 16’ (unassisted); FC – Morris 39’ (unassisted); FC – Dominguez 54’ (Morris); FC – Blevins 59’ (unassisted); FC – Schula 75’ (unassisted).

                                 GHS        FCHS Shots (on goal)..........4(2)        18(13) Fouls...........................8               2 Corner kicks.................0               7 Offsides.......................0               1 Yellow cards................0               0 Red cards....................0               0 Saves..........................6               2