BOONE — The tables have turned a bit between the rival Huskies and Pioneers on the soccer field.
For the third consecutive match, Ashe County has scored a victory over Watauga, this one on the road in Boone.
This year, Ashe is faced with the unenviable task of replacing three 100-goal scorers from the past two seasons. After game one, the Huskies look to be up to the challenge.
Mason Calloway scored two minutes into the game for Ashe. After that, Watauga upped the offensive attack in the first half and eventually netted the game-tying tally in the 18th minute from Chase Palm. Palm’s shot got by Husky goalkeeper Reagan Reynolds.
The Pioneers continued pressuring the Husky fullbacks in the second half, but the defense held strong.
The game remained tied until the 78th minute when a handball inside the scoring box gave the Huskies a penalty kick.
Senior Kendall Wagner buried the shot, giving the Huskies a tough non-conference win on the road.
Ashe (1-0) will face another stiff non-conference test against former Mountain Valley Athletic Conference foe Forbush on Monday. The Falcons are always a tough opponent and one of the top 2A teams in the state year in and year out. The Falcons were ranked fifth in preseason 2A polls while Ashe came in at 11th.
Forbush lost its season opener to Central Davidson by a 2-1 score.
For Watauga (0-1), the schedule doesn’t get any easier with a road trip to 4A Mooresville and a home match against West Caldwell, a team that Ashe narrowly escaped in the first round of the 2A state playoffs last season.
Nathan Ham can be reached at 336-846-7164 or followed on Twitter @NathanHam87