WEST JEFFERSON — A win is a win, but the Huskies boys soccer team (7-6) had to dig deep for their 4-3 comeback victory over the West Wilkes Blackhawks (8-4) Wednesday, Oct. 2.
The Huskies did not go into the game at full strength, being without defender Cristian Ramos, who was serving the first of three-game suspension he picked up the day before against East Wilkes.
The Huskies found themselves down 1-0 in the first four minutes, already missing Ramos’s presence in the back line. Ashe responding by sending many long balls forward, getting attacks started early. While the forced the Blackhawks’ keeper to put in work, they couldn’t break through for the equalizer.
With 14 minutes left in the first half, it appeared Ashe hound found their score, when freshman Dylan Short had a good run to the goal. The defense was able to slow him down enough to snuff out the chance, but the pressure was still coming. Trent Baker finally found the Huskies’ equalizer 15 minutes later, with Short assisting him on the headed-in equalizer.
The tie would not last for long, with West Wilkes man Kyle Fuentes scoring on a direct free kick from deep range for the 2-1 lead. Two minutes later the Blackhawks added to their lead, with another deep goal making it 3-1. The Huskies would carry the deficit into halftime.
Head coach Paul Winterton said after the game he made his unhappiness clear during the break. He said the players weren’t playing like themselves, and the halftime talk was all about getting the team back on track.
Back on track they were, beginning the second half with a barrage on the Blackhawks’ defense. First it was Baker, who bagged his brace two minutes into the half. Justin Lopez and Chris Luna added to the comeback effort in the following eight minutes, giving the Huskies a 4-3 lead with 30 minutes left to play.
The final 10 minutes of play saw both teams desperate for a goal, the Huskies seeking a dagger and the Blackhawks hoping to pull the game level. Both had chances, with the final coming courtesy of Short, who bounced his shot off the right post.
Despite both teams’ best efforts, the 4-3 scoreline stuck, as the Huskies walked away with the comeback victory.
Winterton said once the team got going they played well, but the absence of Ramos was felt in their defense.
Ashe’s next game is Oct. 7 on the road against conference powerhouses Starmount (7-5-2). Winterton said the game would be tough without Ramos, but the win over West Wilkes gives the team a boost of confidence in what they can accomplish.