Falcons blank Rams in soccer Unifi Bowl
by Matthew Gorry Sports Writer
BOONVILLE - There was no love lost on the soccer pitch Monday afternoon between Yadkin County rivals Starmount and Forbush.
Playing the first non-conference Unifi Bowl showdown since the North Carolina High School Athletic Association’s realignment in the off-season, the meeting between county neighbors had the same feel to it as in the past.
The Falcons scored early and often, soaring to the convincing 4-0 victory on the road to earn bragging rights.
Oscar Guadarrama got Forbush off to a quick start, stealing the ball deep in Ram territory and firing a shot past Hunter Johnson for the goal less than three minutes into the game.
Six minutes later, Jason McCormick corralled a loose ball and found the back of the net to give the Falcons a quick 2-0 advantage.
The Rams struggled offensively in the opening 40 minutes, only finding three chances in the half, but came up empty.
“The first part of the first half we spent in our defensive third of the field and our defense and midfield got tired,” Starmount skipper Dale Draughn said. “We gave up the two goals early but I thought we were still in the game.”
Forbush continued its strong play in the second half as Eduardo Peralta settled a cross in the box and found the back of the net with 30:32 remaining in the game.
Midway through the second half, Santiago Sommers added the final tally on an impressive individual goal, dribbling through the Starmount defense and firing past Johnson to push the lead out to 4-0.
The Rams had seven shots on goal in the second half - including three by senior captain Nathan Walker - but could not break through, dropping their second-straight shutout contest.
“We are young and inexperienced in areas and we are going to have to learn to take advantage of our opportunities on goal and not waste them,” Draughn said. “I thought we hung with them but we could not string enough passes together to mount much offense.
“The thing about it is the season is still young and we can correct things and continue to work on things and build toward our conference games. We must not hang our heads, we battled to the end,” he added.
Johnson recorded 12 saves in goal for the Rams, while Forbush’s Ian Grooms stopped all 10 shots he faced.
Starmount, now 0-2 on the season, return to action Wednesday afternoon against Thomasville.
Reach Matthew Gorry at 835-1513 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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