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Tide, Cavs split tight matches

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Cottrell’s goal lifted Galax to a 1-0 girls’ win, while Moreno scored twice for the Carroll boys.

By Craig Worrell, Sports Editor

In its first year of competition, Galax’s girls’ soccer team needed nearly an entire season before notching the first win in program history. Winning has become commonplace for the Tide in year No. 2. The Maroon Tide improved to 3-0 on the year Wednesday, taking a tight 1-0 win over Carroll County in a nondistrict match at Galax High School. The win preceded a hotly contested boys match in which Carroll County held off a late Galax surge for a 2-1 nondistrict win. “We were missing a few key players tonight but still managed to come away with a win,” said Galax girls’ coach Troy Barkley, who had eight starters watching the Mexican National Team take on Iceland in an exhibition match in Charlotte. “Vivian Reyes did a great job at sweeper and Chantasy Cottrell continues to improve at forward.” Cottrell has tallied at least one goal in each of Galax’s first three matches, including the only goal Wednesday night. Popping free from traffic in the left side of the box, Cottrell launched a strong shot off her left foot to just inside the back post for the only offense the Maroon Tide would need, breaking a scoreless tie 15 minutes into the second half. Carroll County (0-2) applied the pressure in the late going but couldn’t capitalize on two solid scoring opportunities in stoppage time. Sarah Broyles’ corner kick set up Kelsea Utt, whose shot drifted just wide, and Morgan Snow had a good look at the goal stopped by Abbi Ponce just before the final whistle. Much of the first half was played between the boxes, although the Maroon Tide managed to send a couple of weak rollers toward Cavalier keeper Kristina Wiles. Lauren Roper stopped a breakaway by Cottrell midway through the first half and Wiles stopped a hard shot by Galax’s Wendy Villabos in the 11th minute. Galax’s best scoring opportunity in the first half came when Cottrell raced up the right side and fired a bullet off the crossbar just before intermission. Carroll County managed to outshoot the Maroon Tide 8-7, but Ponce posted her second shutout of the year with seven saves. “A lot of our younger players stepped in today and played well –– Wendy Villabos, Nancy Mendez, Aracely Carranza – and Abbi Ponce had a solid day,” Barkley said.   GIRLS Galax 1, Carroll County 0 Scoring: Gx – Cottrell 55’ (unassisted).

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                         CCHS   GHS Total shots             8        8 Shots on goal        7        7 Saves                    5        7 Fouls                     3        4 Offsides                 1        0 Corner kicks           3        1 Yellow cards       none   none Red cards           none   none   BOYS Carroll County 2, Galax 1: A pair of unassisted goals by Ulises Moreno were enough to give Carroll County the win in its season opener despite a frenzied finish by the Maroon Tide. With the match still scoreless, Moreno emerged from a pack just inside the 18 and fired a left-footed bullet past Galax keeper Seth Criner for the match’s first goal, coming in the 22nd minute. Galax missed a golden opportunity to tie the match moments later when Juan Hernandez was brought down hard in the box, but Jose Martinez’s penalty kick clanged off the left post. Andres Flores’ leading pass to Jose Rojas resulted in a shot over the goal, but Flores won the ensuing goal kick and charged in on Cavalier keeper Zack Surratt, who made a wonderful diving, one-handed stop of a Flores shot just before halftime. Carroll County doubled its lead midway through the second half when a long throw-in by Cody Jones was batted around near the Tide goal, and Moreno blasted a shot in from 20 yards out in the 60th minute. Surratt stopped a deflected direct kick off the foot of Edu Rojas two minutes later, but the Tide appeared to have gotten on the scoreboard in the 65th minute when Fabricio Reyes dribbled up the left sideline and put the ball into the net from an impossible angle, but the play unfolded with everyone unaware that Reyes had stepped out of bounds near midfield. Galax finally got on the board in the 76th minute when a corner kick was batted around in front of the Cavalier goal long enough for Edu Rojas to put a solid foot on the ball and send it past Surratt for a 2-1 score, but that was as close as Galax would get. The loss ruined a 2-0 start to the season by Galax, which had pounded Bland County 8-0 before taking a 3-1 decision over a tough Giles team. Omar Ramirez scored twice against Bland, with single goals from Junior Espinoza, Edu Rojas, Jose Rojas, Juan Carlos Hernandez, Andres Medina and Reyes.  Jose Martinez scored twice, including a penalty kick, in the defeat of Giles.   BOYS Carroll County 2, Galax 1 Scoring: CC – Moreno 22’ (unassisted); CC – Moreno 60’ (unassisted); Gx – Rojas 76’ (unassisted).

                        CCHS    GHS Total shots           14         8 Shots on goal       6          5 Saves                   3          3 Fouls                   15         9 Offsides                0          1 Corner kicks          4          4 Yellow cards      Webb    none Red cards          none     none