Prep Soccer Playoffs: Salisbury 2, Cuthbertson 1, OT
By David Shaw
SALISBURY ó B.J. Woods isnít face-on-a-lunchbox famous, but he was awfully popular Wednesday night at Ludwig Stadium.
The senior midfielder came straight from football practice ó where he doubles as a bone-crunching defensive back ó and scored an overtime goal to lift the Hornets into the fourth round of the 2A state soccer playoffs.
ěThatís probably the best goal Iíve ever scored in my life,î Woods said after his converted rebound gave Salisbury a 2-1 third-round win over Cuthbertson. ěI kept telling myself we had this. Weíve fought through adversity before and we fought through it tonight.î
Woods was joyfully mugged by his teammates after netting the game-winner with seven minutes remaining in the second OT period.
ěB.J. is a man,î first-year coach Matt Parrish said after Salisbury (21-1-1) advanced to Saturdayís quarterfinal match against visiting Surry Central. ěThat guy is a machine. Heís gotta another football game Friday night and then play for us on Saturday night. Oh, to be 18.î
The Hornets outshot Cuthbertson (18-5-2) by a 31-17 margin ó despite trailing for most of regulation. The guests scored first with four minutes remaining in the first half, when freshman Aidan Peterson took a long feed from Matthew Lafrance and redirected a header past SHS keeper Connor Miller.
ěThe goal was nice,î said losing coach Nelson Garner. ěEspecially since (Salisbury) came out with a frenetic pace. It was a track meet. They definitely had us on our heels.î
Cuthbertson spent the middle third of the match contesting every pass, blocking every lane and forcing Salisbury to play a lot of kick-and-chase. Trailing at halftime, Parrish said the Hornets werenít the least bit discouraged.
ěHonest to goodness, it was good for us,î he explained. ěI saw fire in those kidsí eyes that I hadnít seen in a really long time. There was no hanging of heads, no finger-pointing, no trash-talking. They were this absolute cohesive unit and we spoke ó not yelled ó about what we needed to correct.î
It took SHS 14 minutes to send a shot-on-goal in the second half.
Only 2:10 remained in regulation when Salisbury finally solved Cuthbertsonís defense. Miller ó whoíd been switched to midfield in an attempt to spark the offense ó lofted a long throw-in from right sideline. Following a scramble in the penalty area the ball spun back to him. This time his centering pass found teammate Emmy Turcios, who headed a shot past keeper Jack Sosinski.
ěAll I was thinking was, ëPut it in the net,íî Turcios said after tallying his 15th goal. ěThatís my job ó to score goals.î
Woods had a chance to settle the outcome in the closing seconds of regulation, but his blast from 12 yards sailed over the crossbar.
ěThatís soccer,î said Garner. ěSometimes itís a game of inches. Tonight it seemed like we did everything right for a long, long time.î
Woods anticipated teammate Alex Leeís overtime corner kick ó and converted following a three-shot flurry.
ěAlex Lee always hits it long,î Woods said. ěHe usually goes for the far, back post. Knowing that, thatís where I set up.î
Standing just a few feet from the cage, Woods initially banged a head shot that Sosinski knocked into the air. He launched a second header that was also deflected. Finally, Woods settled the ball and slid a grounder into the lower right corner.
ěB.J. was killing himself because of that miss in regulation,î teammate Kenny Bonilla said. ěBut on corners he always wants the ball. He always asks for it.î
Last night he answered as well.
NOTES: Surry Central (19-3-1) advanced with a 2-1 overtime win against Central Davidson.