South Point scores lone goal — for TuscolaMountaineers travel to Ashbrook for 3-A second round match (6 p.m.) on Saturday
South Point senior goalkeeper Constantine Hug stopped everything Tuscola sent her way all night long. Except she could not stop a goal by one of her teammates as the Mountaineers beat the Red Raiders, 1-0, in a NCHSAA Class 3-A West girls soccer first round match at C.E. Weatherby Stadium Wednesday evening.
“We really were ready to play and I was hoping that would be the case, especially after our second half letdown at Franklin (in the season finale),” said Tuscola Head Coach Erik Melville. “We are an athletic, physical team. It is a different level of intensity and I thought we showed all night, but especially out of the gate. We let them know we were going to be physical and were going to try to take the game to them, and I thought we did.
“We hit the post a bunch, their keeper (Constantina Hug) made a lot of good saves. But I felt like we were in control of the game from start ot finish.”
Although the Mountaineers dominated every phase of the game from the outset, they could not get the ball past the talented Red Raider keeper until junior Lizzie Darguzas whistled a corner kick toward the South Point goal.
The shot careened off Cassidy Pate-Moore and off a Red Raider defender directly into the back of the net for the eventual match-winning goal.
“I didn’t see the ball because there was a player between me and the ball,” said Hug. “It happened so quickly, I could not react fast enough.”
For the rest of the match the Mountaineers set up camp in the Red Raider zone and peppered the South Point goal, but could not get one past Hug.
The visitors had one golden opportunity to tie the match with less than a minute remaining from a throw in to a wide open Raider in center of the field from 20 yards out. But her shot sailed over the outstretched arms of Tuscola senior goalkeeper Abby Coulter and over the net as time expired.
“Our girls definitely picked it up in the second half,” said South Point Head Coach Blake Powell. We made a few adjustments and made a match out of it. I was proud of the effort they put in especially in the second half. Tuscola was very aggressive and they played hard and deserved the win.”
With the victory, Tuscola improves to 16-6 and advances to the second round to play Ashbrook at 6 p.m. in Gastonia on Saturday.