WEST JEFFERSON — It did not take long for the Ashe County Huskies (1-1) to get their first win under new head coach Paul Winterton, picking it up after a 5-0 drubbing of the Avery Vikings (1-1) at home Wednesday, Aug. 21.
Ashe came into the game hoping to start their season off with a win, while Avery had already earned a win in its season opener against North Wilkes. Both teams worked to get prepared for conference play later in the season.
Only a few minutes into the game, some of the issues they hoped to work out came bubbling to the surface for the Huskies. A stout Avery defense and a lack of communication led to Winterton pulling the entire attack and midfield off of the field to try and work it out. Meanwhile, a Huskies back line which was completely rebuilt in the offseason held firm against a Vikings attack struggling to get good looks at the net.
The game stopped in the 23rd minute when Ashe senior Isaac Miller collided with Avery defender Blake Broussard before staying on the ground. Miller was able to walk off the pitch under his own power, but did not return. Broussard received a yellow card after arguing with the referee over the foul card, the first card of the game. The Huskies were able to get some pressure of the Avery defense late in the first half, but the game went into the break tied at 0-0.
Ashe came out firing in the second half, putting consistent pressure on the Vikings defense early and often. Avery’s defense, led by the imposing Broussard, were able to fend off the Huskies’ straight-on attacks.
The Huskies broke through in the 50th minute by going over, rather than through, the Avery Defense. Senior Josh Lipscomb picked his spot and fired from near the midfield line, sending the ball on a rainbow course and into the Avery net for a 1-0 lead. Three minutes later, he nearly added another highlight-reel goal to his tally, but a scorpion-esque volley was called offsides.
The 57th minute saw a rough tackle lead to an Avery yellow card and Huskies free kick. Christian Ramos stepped up to take it, with a long bomb going into the back of the net direct from the spot for a 2-0 lead. Ashe senior Justin Lopez extended the lead two minutes later, blowing by Broussard and slotting the ball away in the Avery net.
Already down by three goals, the Vikings found themselves down a man in the 72nd minute, when an Avery player received a second yellow and his marching orders. Senior Carson Farthing received his first yellow in the 77th before Ramos made it 4-0 with another goal from range a minute later.
Finally putting the game to rest was freshman Dylan Short, who scored from close range with only 20 seconds left, securing the 5-0 win.
Winterton said he was very happy with the result and how his team played. He said the rough first half held them back, saying they could have ended the game earlier if the attack was able to find its way early. Winterton added his player of the game was easily Ramos.
The Huskies went on to lose to North Iredell (3-0) on the road the next day, and will now look to an away match up with Hibriten (0-1-1) Thursday, Aug. 29.