Rams keep pace in conference race
by Matthew Gorry
BOONVILLE - Starmount swept two Wilkes County schools in this week’s action to remain in the hunt for the top 2A seed in the Mountain Valley Conference.
The Rams blew out North Wilkes 7-1 last Friday before edging Wilkes Central 3-2 in an overtime thriller Monday night.
Against the Vikings, Starmount scored early and often en route to the dominating win in Hays.
The Rams opened the scoring fives minutes into the game when Luis Luna scored off a Chandler Chappell assist for a quick 1-0 lead. Four minutes later Chappell found the back of the net for an early 2-0 advantage.
North kept Starmount from scoring for the rest of the half, but five second-half goals powered the Rams.
Catalan pushed the lead to 3-0 less than five minutes into the half before adding his second 10 minutes later on a penalty kick. David Zavaleta added back-to-back goals off Luna assists in a five-minute span to extend the lead to 6-0.
Juan Noveron would score the Rams final goal of the night as Luna picked up a hat trick in assists with 5:53 remaining in the game for a 7-0 lead.
Daniel Stinson recorded five saves in goal for the Rams.
Against the Eagles, Noveron’s game-winner in overtime gave Starmount a crucial 2A win in the conference.
The Rams took an early 1-0 lead just three minutes into the game when Catalan scored off the assist by David Barrera.
Wilkes Central tied things up when a Denis Hernandez penalty shot found the back of the net past the out-stretched hand of Stinson 10 minutes later.
Starmount responded and retook the lead with 23:28 remaining in the opening half when Luna scored off an assist by Catalan.
Central found the equalizer midway through the second half on a Jorge Rivera goal that tied the game at 2-2.
With 15 minutes left in the game, a red card disqualification gave the Eagles a two-man advantage for the rest of the game. But Stinson and the Starmount defense stood tall and fended off the Central attack to send the game to overtime.
In the extra session, Noveron scored the game-winner off the assist by Ruben Salazar to give Starmount the much-needed 3-2 victory to keep pace in the 2A race.
“I was pleased with our performance from start to finish,” head coach Dale Draughn said. “We could have gone away and hid when we went down two players, but we did not. That shows the mentality of this group to not give up and play to the final whistle.
“I think we have found the will to win and played as a team again, which was something that we were missing in our two losses to Ashe and Elkin,” he continued. “We played team ball and everyone stepped it up a notch for the entire match. I am proud of them for how they played and responded to the adversity they faced. Hopefully we can build from this.”
Stinson recorded 16 saves and allowed two goals on the night for Starmount.
With the wins, Starmount pushes its overall record to 6-3-1 and 4-3 in the Mountain Valley Conference.
Reach Matthew Gorry at 835-1513 or email@example.com.
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