MILLERS CREEK — The Ashe County Huskies wrapped up the first half of conference play on Monday with a 4-2 victory at West Wilkes.
Ashe never trailed in the contest on the way to the team’s sixth conference win in seven matches.
“I was pleased with the way we controlled our emotions and handled ourselves despite the fact that it was a very physical and chippy game,” said Ashe County head coach Wes Rousseau.
Each team was issued three yellow cards in the match.
Johnny Retezatu got the scoring started with a goal in the 18th minute. Just five minutes later, Ashe striker Alec Roland scored to put the Huskies ahead 2-0.
Ashe added a pair of corner kick attempts in the first half as well, but came up without a goal. The Huskies held their two-goal lead through the halftime break.
West Wilkes came out with a quick flurry to open the second half. In the opening minute, Pedro Cortez fired a shot towards the net that was deflected high into the air and somehow found a perfect spot between the hand of Ashe County goalkeeper Noah Blevins and the cross bar for a goal.
Still holding on to a one-goal lead, Ashe kept the offensive intensity at a high level. Joseph Nguyen had a great chance at a goal but his shot blasted off of the right goal post two minutes into the half
Roland scored his second goal of the contest in the 51st minute. A shot from Josh Brettschneider hit the post but Roland was there for the rebound and an easy look at a wide open net. Ashe now held a 3-1 lead.
Ashe scored its fourth and final goal in the 60th minute. A handball was called against West Wilkes in the scoring box, giving the Huskies a penalty kick.
Caleb Key calmly fired the shot by the Blackhawk keeper for a 4-1 lead.
With the game just seconds from being over, the Blackhawks were rewarded with a penalty kick after a foul in the box. Edgar Hartleben converted the penalty kick with 12 seconds left.
The Huskies improved to 9-6 overall and 6-1 in the MVAC while West Wilkes fell to 4-8 overall and 4-3 in the MVAC.
The win kept Ashe within striking distance of a conference title, still sitting just one game back of Starmount.
“We could’ve done a better job of finishing, we left a lot of goals out there tonight and one or two of those could’ve taken the intensity out of the atmosphere. But all in all, it’s a win against a good team in conference, so I’m pleased with our effort,” said Rousseau.
*As of Oct. 4
1. Starmount: 10-2, 5-0
2. Ashe County: 9-6, 6-1
3. Wilkes Central: 7-4-1, 3-2
4. Elkin: 4-10, 3-2
5. West Wilkes: 4-8, 4-3
6. East Wilkes: 4-9, 2-4
7. North Wilkes: 2-12, 1-6
8. Alleghany: 0-8, 0-6
Nathan Ham can be reached at 336-489-3062.