BOONVILLE — After a first-round bye, the Starmount Rams were back in action on Saturday night for the second round of the North Carolina High School Athletic Association 1A soccer playoffs. It was a cold night as the Rams hosted Union Academy.
The Rams were quick on their feet to take a 3-1 win over Union Academy. Starmount, who has not lost a game since Sept. 19, are on a six-game win streak. With the win on Saturday, the Rams now sit with an overall record of 19-1-2.
In the first half of action, Starmount put its best foot forward early with a goal in the third minute. Victor Maya was able to get the better of two Union Academy defenders in order to put the ball in the back of the net for Starmount. It was a perfect start for the Rams as some of their best play has come in the first five minutes of the opening half.
After the opening goal, Starmount started to take things one pass at a time. With crisp passes and pressure on the defense, Starmount started showing why it has such a good overall record. Union Academy stuck with the Rams as much as possible earning the upper hand on a few 50/50 balls, but Starmount kept up its urgency to hold on to a 1-0 lead.
As the second half was winding down, Starmount kept putting pressure on the ball until it was able to score the second goal of the half. With less than 11 minutes left in the first, Andres Ocampo put his name on the score sheet with a goal. Ocampo put a spin move down before beating a defender to score the goal. Starmount was able to take a 2-0 lead heading into halftime.
Things started off in the second half the same as they did in the first. Starmount once again came out with a renewed energy to score a goal in the opening two minutes. With a 3-0 lead, Starmount started to settle down while Union Academy started to want the ball at every turn. Union Academy was able to put a goal in the net off of a corner kick with 19 minutes left in the game. A Union player jumped above the Starmount defense to score a goal and put Union Academy on the board.
Union started showing signs of life after the goal as the team put high pressure on the Starmount defense. If Starmount won a ball, Union would take the ball back by double teaming the ball handler. With less than 10 minutes left in the game, Starmount’s defense was getting a workout from the Union offense. The Starmount defense was able to stand tall to allow no more goals and the game ended with the Rams earning a 3-1 win over Union Academy.
Starmount has scored 148 goals this season and only allowed 12. The Rams will move on to the third round of playoffs where they will host sixth ranked Highlands.