Prep Soccer: THS nets first CCC win over East Davidson
A lot has gone wrong for Thomasville's soccer team this season. Monday's Central Carolina Conference clash with East Davidson helped ease much of the suffering.
Inconsistency has plagued the Bulldogs and a tough schedule has not helped in remedying the situation. But at the Brown Middle School soccer pitch, THS put it all together and made the short trip home with a satisfying 2-1, come-from-behind victory.
"It feels good to beat East right here in Thomasville," said Thomasville coach Alan Reavis. "We respect these guys and coach McIntire runs a great program. We are glad to get this win."
The evening started out like plenty of others have for the Bulldogs. Salvador Pecina's goal put the Golden Eagles in front first, leaving the guests behind again.
Derik Calderon-Solis brought about calm on the Thomasville sideline before the half. Testing goalie Kyle Rae, the sophomore lofted a shot from 30 yards out to the frame of the goal. Rae was unable to come up with the tough grab, leveling the score at one goal apiece.
The long distance plan continued in the second half.
Ten minutes into the final half, Isai Ocampo took a free kick from straight on just outside the 18-yard box. It cleared the wall set up by East but clanked off the crossbar and out of play. A few minutes later Solis took a tough shot from an angle from deep that hit off the post and out of harms way.
With the iron unkind to the Bulldogs, Armando Alexis Sifuentes Reyes took a different approach. Find nothing but the back of the net.
With ball in hand about 15 yards inside of midfield, Reyes lifted an ambitious shot into the air. Backpedalling on the play, Rae was not able to time his jump correctly, as the ball tucked in behind him. It would stand as the winning shot.
"All of their shots were coming from the outside and they were dropping them in," said EDHS coach Paul McIntire. "They won the 50/50 balls and played with their hearts. They laid it all out on the field and they wanted it."
Thomasville was not out of the woods just yet. With about a minute remaining, the ball somehow found its way to Pecina behind the Bulldogs' defense that had been steady all night. With nothing but green grass between himself and goalie Cruz Robles, Pecina dribbled in. But a long touch allowed Robles enough time to wrap up, foiling a last second effort to tie.
"You have got to finish," said McIntire. "Salvy knows it and he just touched the ball a little too far and the goalie made a play on it. That was going to tie it, but they just played us well."
It was an effort Reavis knew his team was capable of. He was especially impressed with how the defense handled themselves. Jason Boutsady was tasked with marking Pecina second half and did a great job of limiting his touches.
"We had a gameplan and the boys stuck to it defensively," said Reavis. "Jason Boutsady played excellent defense for us. He did a good job sticking with his mark and he is tough and tenacious."
Thomasville moves to 4-9 overall and 1-1 in the CCC. That ties them for third in the league with Lexington. East drops to 1-8-1 and 0-2 in the conference. McIntire said the Bulldogs may have been a sleeper coming into the season, but they are a legitimate contender to be in the top half of the league standings when all play is done.
"I knew Thomasville was going to be good once they got a person that could guide them in the right direction," he said. "I think they have found that person. Their coach has made them more disciplined and playing as a unit. Kudos to him for doing a great job with those kids."
THS visits Lexington today and the Eagles travel to Tyro for a meeting with West Davidson.
Sports Editor Zach Kepley can be reached at 888-3631, or firstname.lastname@example.org.