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Tide boys, Cavalier girls win

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Both teams notched shutouts, Galax’s boys by a 5-0 margin and Carroll’s girls by a 4-0 count.

By Craig Worrell, Sports Editor

HILLSVILLE –– Four teams were looking for a boost heading into the postseason Wednesday night at Tommy Thompson Field. Only two were going to get it.

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Galax’s boys and Carroll County’s girls posted shutouts to pick up a little steam as conference play commences next week, the Tide boys pulling away for a 5-0 win while the Cavaliers girls managing a 4-0 blanking of the Maroon Tide in the early game.

In the nightcap, Galax (14-1-1) barely got out of the first half with a lead, but gathered steam as the second half wore on and made amends for a disappointing early-season tie with the Cavaliers.

“Absolutely,” Maroon Tide coach Troy Barkley said when asked if this was a game in which his team hoped to make a point. “I’ve tried to show them that if we play consistently for 80 minutes, that these kinds of things will happen. Early in the year there was a lot of new guys, a lot of inconsistency, and we just couldn’t seem to find the net. Now my second unit is playing really well and I feel that we’re a lot deeper now.”

That showed as the game wore on. Following a first half that was scoreless until three minutes before the break, Galax wore on the Cavaliers over the final 40 minutes, picking up four more goals.

“We’re a lot fresher now and the second half usually goes a whole lot better,” Barkley said. “At the beginning of the year, I was confident going 13-14 deep, and now I’m confident about 20-22 deep. I think that will really help us in the postseason.”

Galax and George Wythe had been neck-and-neck for the No. 1 seed in the Conference 46 tournament, but a Wythe tie at Grayson on Tuesday coupled with Galax’s win over 4A Carroll County should put the Maroon Tide over the top in the standings.

“I’m hoping this win will put us at a No. 1 seed and give us a chance to get a good game or two under our belts in conference play.”

Keeper Chris Burnette and the Carroll defense kept Galax at bay for most of the first half, Burnette making five saves, but a long throw-in from Edgar Guzman found Isaac Tracy directly in front of the Cavalier goal. Tracy’s shot was deflected by a Carroll defender and Burnette’s momentum toward the initial trajectory gave him no chance to reverse and get in the way.

The Maroon Tide’s second goal was a tad flukey. Dominic DiGiacomo came up with a steal deep in Galax’s offensive zone, and his centering pass took a wicked hop over the foot of Tracy but directly to Juan Sanchez, who drilled a shot into the upper right corner for a 2-0 lead with 32 minutes to play.

Carroll County managed a breakaway shortly thereafter and Jovani Esquivel disrupted the charge, leading to Carroll’s first corner kick, some 57 minutes into the match. The Cavaliers managed two shots from about 10 yards away, but both were blocked before they could reach Tide keeper Misa Solis.

Galax finished with a bang, scoring three goals in the final 13 minutes. A Mario Carranza corner zoomed through the zone to Guzman on the far side, and Guzman’s header shot back across the net and just inside the post in the 67th minute.

DiGiacomo then connected twice in the span of seven minutes. Carranza drove in and drew Burnette out to the left side, and Carranza passed to DiGiacomo on the right, who tapped into the open net for a 4-0 lead.

Sanchez and Burnette collided on a Sanchez drive a few minutes later, with the ball deflecting to DiGiacomo, who popped in the Tide’s fifth and final goal.

Galax outshot the Cavaliers 32-5, putting 14 shots on goal to Carroll’s one. Burnette finished with nine saves for Carroll County.

BOYS

Galax 5, Carroll County 0

Halftime – Galax 1, Carroll County 0

Scoring: Gx – Tracy 37’ (Guzman); Gx – J.Sanchez 48’ (DiGiacomo); Gx – Guzman 67’ (Carranza); Gx – DiGiacomo 71’ (Carranza); Gx – DiGiacomo 78’ (unassisted).

 

                                  Gx    CC

Shots (on goal)      32(14)    5(1)

Fouls                             9    14

Corner kicks                   9    1

Offsides                          1    0

Yellow cards                   2    2

Red cards                       0    0

Saves15

 

Saves – (Gx) Solis 1, (CC) Burnette 9.

 

In the girls’ game, Carroll County got a welcome respite from the grind of playing in one of the state’s top districts for girls soccer and notched its second win of the season with a 4-0 victory.

The Puckett kids definitely enjoyed it.

Gracie Puckett had a hat trick in the first half and Madison Puckett got in on the action after intermission as the Cavaliers ended a string of 11 straight losses.

“We’ve had a real tough season, moving into the River Ridge District, so winning on senior night was a big plus for our girls,” Carroll County coach Wayne Edmonds said. 

The Cavaliers were less than 24 hours removed from a 6-0 loss in Roanoke.

“The girls had a real tough game last night at Cave Spring and I was afraid they would come out flat,” said Edmonds, “but they came out on fire.”

Gracie Puckett began her big night just 11 minutes in, finishing a shot that Crysta Guynn initiated. Guynn probably would have scored on the attempt but Puckett made sure the ball found the net, giving the Cavaliers a 1-0 lead.

Puckett, a freshman, added two goals a minute apart midway through the half, both coming on breakaways.

“They were three beautiful shots,” Edmonds said.

Lindsey Brumfield set up the Cavaliers’ final goal of the night, forwarding the ball to Madison Puckett on the right side. The elder Puckett, this one a sophomore, let fly from about 20 yards away and found the net for the final 4-0 margin.

“It was just a great game for us,” Edmonds said.

Carroll County put nine shots on goal and outshot the Maroon Tide 20-7 overall. Aubree Marshall had two saves for the Cavaliers while Trinece Bryson and Ashley Jordan stopped a combined five shots for Galax.

 

GIRLS

Carroll County 4, Galax 0

Halftime – Carroll County 3, Galax 0

Scoring: CC – G.Puckett 11’ (Guynn); CC – G.Puckett 19’ (unassisted); CC – G.Puckett 20’ (unassisted); CC – M.Puckett 63’ (Brumfield).

 

                                Gx    CC

Shots (on goal)        7(2)    20(8)

Fouls                            9    9

Corner kicks                 3    4

Offsides                        2    6

Yellow cards                  0    0

Red cards                     0    0

Saves                           5     2

 

Saves – (Gx) Bryson 3, Jordan 2, (CC) Marshall 2.