Ashe rallied back to beat Wilkes Central on Wednesday by a 5-4 final, but could not do the same against Surry Central with the Eagles knocking the Huskies out of the playoffs with a 3-0 victory.
The Huskies were set to face Wilkes Central for the third time this season, and knew that this game was even bigger than the previous two matchups.
Early on, the Eagles looked like the top seed team that they were, putting the Huskies in an early 3-1 hole. Wilkes Central got two goals from leading scorer Jesse Massucco in the ninth and 15th minute with assists from Mike Andreski and Will Cornette. Ashe answered with a goal from Lucas Zeller in the 17th minute before Massucco netted a hat trick in the first half with his third goal in the 22nd minute.
Ashe tallied one more goal in the first half when Tyler Keagy fired one into the back of the net in the 36th minute to begin the comeback for Ashe. The Huskies still trailed, however, 3-2 at the halftime break.
As the second half started, Keagy was quick to tie the game up for Ashe, scoring his only goal of the match in the 48th minute to tie things up at 3-3. Ashe took its first lead of the day just two minutes later when freshman Miguel Ramos got one past the Eagle keeper to put Ashe in front 4-3.
The Eagles answered back in the 68th minute with a goal from Denis Hernandez, and the third assist of the day from Andreski. The game would remained tied at the end of regulation, sending a hotly-contested playoff matchup into overtime.
Nearing the end of the first overtime, it would be the Huskies that had the lone goal of the two 10-minute overtime periods. Tyler Keagy finished off his hat trick and scored the game winner in the 89th minute of play. The Husky defense was able to keep Wilkes Central from getting anymore shots past goalkeeper Braxton Treadway.
“It was interesting having to play a conference opponent in the first round of the playoffs. In my opinion, it’s kind of unfair to both teams to have to open up against a conference opponent,” said head coach Wesley Rousseau. “But the guys rallied, they could’ve easily rolled over when they were down 2-0 or 3-1. They showed a lot of grit, a lot of determination and took advantage of the opportunities that came.”
With that victory, the Huskies were off to face Surry Central on Saturday evening in Dobson.
Defense set the tone early on for both the Surry Central Eagles and the Huskies in the first half.
Ashe got scoring chances from Miguel Ramos in the 12th minute when his shot was stopped. Five minutes later, Honor Rognstad fired a free kick from well outside of the box that nearly sailed over the keeper’s head, but was knocked out for a corner kick. The ensuing corner was kicked out of the scoring area by the Eagles.
The Huskies also saw shots from Andrew Lopp in the 31st minute and Frank Ledezma in the 38th minute knocked away by the keeper. The game went to halftime in a scoreless tie.
Early in the second half, Lopp and Keagy both had good shot attempts land wide of the goal.
Surry Central, however, saw its shots find more accuracy early on, netting two goals in the 49th and 52nd minute to take a 2-0 advantage.
Ashe attempted to answer back in the 56th minute when the Eagle keeper stopped a shot from Zeller on a nice diving play, then Keagy fired a shot off of the rebound, but the kick sailed above the crossbar.
In the 73rd and 75th minutes, Rognstad and Lopp both had good header shots on target, but could not find the back of he net. On a counter attack, the Eagles netted its third goal of the game, this one in the 76th minute.
Surry Central held on for the remaining four minutes to advance to the third round of the playoffs. The Eagles moved to 18-3-1 overall
Ashe County finished the season with a record of 16-6-1.