The Elkin Lady Elks soccer team hosted Surry Central on Wednesday night in its opening game of the 2018 season. The Lady Elks put forth a tough effort, but the visiting Eagles were able to leave the night with a 2-0 win.
“First game of the season for us, and I’m very pleased with what we did,” said Elkin Head Coach Joe McCulloch. “We had some opportunities, they didn’t go in the net, but I thought we could have had a couple goals near the end of the second half.”
Elkin was able to take control of the first half early, as Kathryn Jennings and Catie Beth Brown hooked up to make a breakaway towards the goal. Surry Central’s defense was able to hold off the attack and things started to go the Eagles’ way. Surry Central was able to pass the ball through the midfield into its forward’s feet. Elkin’s defense was able to stand strong as the attacks started coming from the Eagles.
“Surry Central played really well,” said McCulloch. “They passed the ball well, but I thought for our first game of the season we did really well.”
Surry Central was able to break through in the 27th minute of play to knock in the first goal of the night. Surry Central played a through pass that ultimately found the back of the net. At halftime Surry Central held a 1-0 lead over Elkin.
As the second half started, Surry Central was able to put another goal into the net in the 50th minute. The two goals were no discredit to Elkin’s goalkeeper, Abbie Flores. Flores had several saves in the first half, and continued to save shots in the second half.
“I thought (Abbie) did a great job. In the first half, the wind was against her and she was discouraged with her punts,” said McCulloch. “I told her in the second half the wind would go our way. The first goal in the box she couldn’t see, and the second goal was just a great goal. There wasn’t much she could do to stop that one.”
Elkin didn’t let its intensity down as just two minutes after the Surry Central goal, the Lady Elks were on the attack. Brown was able to find a breakaway that resulted in a shot. Brown’s shot was saved and the score remained 2-0. Elkin kept counter-attacking the Eagles as time went on. With 11:16 left in the game, the Lady Elks had a free kick from 22 yards out. The kick found the feet of Jennings, who tried to find the net, but her shot went just wide. Elkin kept pushing as time went on, with Harper Libbert coming up with a few shots of her own. As time ran out, the Lady Elks were unable to find the back of the net and the score went 2-0 in favor of Surry Central.
“This is our first game of the season, and we haven’t been on the field to practice for more than two days in a row,” said McCulloach. “I think we are going to get much better. We had people playing in positions they were not used to playing and we had different looks from last year. I think they are discouraged, but I’m pleased with the way we played.”
Elkin’s next home game will be March 12 against Bishop McGuinness. Kick-off is set for 5:30 p.m.