By Charles Curcio, Sports Editor
Thursday, September 26, 2013 —
In recent Stanly soccer games this week, Albemarle looked to keep their win streak alive hosting the ninth-ranked Gray Stone Knights, while West Stanly had Rocky River Conference matchups Monday at Forest Hills and Wednesday at home against Monroe.
Gray Stone 1
The first time this season that the soccer teams of Albemarle and Gray Stone met on the pitch, it was the host Knights that were healthy while the Bulldogs were missing a number of players.
Wednesday’s rematch in Albemarle was the polar opposite as the injury-plagued Knights travelled to Albemarle to face a healthier Bulldogs team.
The Bulldogs broke a 1-1 tie in the second half and scored three goals to take a 4-1 win over Gray Stone.
Both teams missed several opportunities in the first half but it was Albemarle (8-6, 4-2 YVC West) that took the first lead of the night. In the 35th minute, Gray Stone was called for a handball just outside their defensive penalty box. Adam Yang launched a free kick through a wall and scored.
Gray Stone had the immediate answer three minutes later. Mason Shell found junior forward Brandin Fortin, who scored to tie the match 1-1.
The play got more intense in the second half as Albemarle was issued a yellow card in the 60th minute and Gray Stone scored a minute later but the play was called offsides.
In the 63rd minute, Albemarle received a corner kick when the referee appeared to overrule the linesman, who initially whistled for a goal kick. The ball was crossed into the box and Mason Krol headed the ball in for what beacme the game-winning score for the Bulldogs.
With just under six minutes left, Adam Yang broke free on a breakway to make it 3-1 Albemarle.
One minute later, the Bulldogs scored an unusual goal. The play was whistled offsides but the ball was played by a player not offsides, according to the linesman. Ross Plyler dribbled forward uncontested and scored into an empty net.
Albemarle head coach Michael Morrow credited his team’s defense, especially Joel Sanchez-Bautista, David Bello, Ricky Yang and Michael Yang, along with goalkeeper Donnie Hall, for their work in Wednesday’s win.
“It was a huge win for us overall; Gray Stone is the class of the conference,” Morrow said.
Albemarle hosts Mount Pleasant tonight while Gray Stone (11-3-2, 5-2) travels to North Stanly.
The Colts suffered two losses this week, including a 5-3 overtime loss at Forest Hills and a 3-2 home loss Wednesday versus Monroe.
Brady Ennis netted a hat trick against the Jackets, including one in the final minutes of regulation, to send the game to overtime.
On Wednesday, the Redhawks took a 2-0 lead before the Colts rallied in the second half. Edgar Olea and Ennis both scored, to keep the game within a goal both times. Ennis’ goa was his 14th of the season.