'Stang Defense Controls Vikes
The North Moore Mustangs boys’ soccer team defeated the Union Pines Vikings 3-0 Wednesday in Robbins.
Senior striker Luis Solache scored in the 24th minute of the nonconference clash on an assist from junior Edgar Catalan to give the homestanding Mustangs a 1-0 lead, which they carried into intermission.
North Moore dominated every aspect of the game in the opening half. The Mustangs outshot the Vikes 16 to two in the first frame and held a decided edge in both 50-50 balls won and time of possession.
“It feels great to beat Union Pines,” said Mustang stopper Edgar Catalan. “It is a big rivalry and we tried hard to beat them, so I am proud of my team.”
Catalan played a key role in ensuring his team stayed on the attack by anchoring a Mustang defense that made countless steals on the Viking half of the pitch and thwarted any potential Union Pines scoring chances before they could materialize into threatening tries.
Senior Gerbacio Cabrera was another of several North Moore players to turn in standout performances on the night. From the left fullback position, Cabrera cleaned up many would-be Union Pines runs on goal with steals, often using big balls up field to keep the Mustangs in control and moving forward.
“We pressured fast and left Union Pines with no space,” said Cabrera. “We really wanted to close in on them so they had no real space to work with when they had the ball. As a result we were able to force them to lose control of the ball a lot and open up our passing attack.
“One thing to take away from this game is that we were passing a lot. In past games we did not do that as much or as consistently. So that is something we will hopefully continue to do in order to find success this season.”
Union Pines opened the second half with some steady pressure and better possession through the 50th minute. However, North Moore eventually regained complete control of the action and maintained command through the final 30 minutes of play.
After the match, Viking head coach Mike Mibb described his squad’s performance as frustrating.
“We got outplayed entirely in the first half all over the field,” said Mibb. “In the second half we started well and managed to put some pressure on the goal. But we never had any really good shots and their keeper was never in any trouble at all — it is frustrating.
“As a team the guys have been very inconsistent throughout the season. They are up, they are down; they are all over the place. At the beginning of the second half we strung some passes together and looked like a team. The rest of the time we didn’t.”
Sophomore forward Pedro Ugarte scored both of the Mustang goals in the second stanza.
Ugarte’s first tally came in the 59th minute when he received a long lob from freshman David Benitez near midfield. Ugarte promptly secured possession of the pass and proceeded to dribble past the left side of the Viking back line and into the box before beating the keeper by placing a ball in the lower left portion of the net.
Less than five minutes later Ugarte struck again, pushing the North Moore lead to 3-0. Senior sweeper Oliver Castrejon had the assist on a free kick he sent on goal from over 45 yards out. Starting from the far post, Ugarte shifted to the near post as the ball approached before going airborne and placing a perfectly timed header into the goal with 16:11 left in the match.
Overall North Moore took 28 shots in the tilt while the Vikings got off seven chances. With the shutout victory North Moore improved to 6-3-1 on the season, while Union Pines dropped to 3-9.
Union Pines closed the week with another non-league game Thursday against Hoke. The Vikes, currently third in the 3-A Cape Fear Valley Conference standings at 3-2, return to league action Monday with a home match in Cameron against Westover (2-6, 1-4 CFVC) at 7 p.m.
North Moore is undefeated on the season in 1-A Yadkin Valley Conference play with a mark of 4-0-1 and tied for first in league standings (in the win column) with East Montgomery (9-2-2, 5-0-1 YVC).
The Mustangs also return to action Monday for a YVC contest against South Davidson (2-8, 1-5) back in Robbins at 6:30 p.m.
Contact F.W. Manning II at firstname.lastname@example.org.
More like this story