Cougars advance to round three

Stephanie King

The second round of the 3A state soccer playoffs came to Southwestern Randolph on Saturday as the fifth seeded Cougars hosted the twelfth seeded Watauga Pioneers. Southwestern Randolph entered Saturday’s match-up 22-3 on the season.

Both teams came ready to play Saturday despite the cold, breezy weather. Defenses were strong for both teams as scoring was difficult. Southwestern Randolph’s Carlos Cuadros tried to break free to score, but the Pioneers had a defender sticking to him like glue. Alex Mercado and Enrique Ramerez found decent looks at the goal, but they either went wide due to the wind or the Watauga keeper made the save. Cuadros found an opening midway through the first half, but was pulled down inside the box resulting in a penalty kick for the Cougars. Ramerez took the penalty kick and sent the ball passed the outstretched hands of the Pioneers’ keeper into the goal. The Cougars had a couple of good looks during the rest of the half, but could not score. At the half, Southwestern Randolph led 1-0.

The second half of play would be a defensive battle as neither team could score. Play became a bit aggressive and the officials had to stop the clock a couple of times to keep things from getting out of hand. The Cougars had some very close looks at the goal late, but the Watauga keeper was there to make the save. Southwestern Randolph would hold on for a 1-0 to advance to the third round of the state playoffs.

Southwestern Randolph will travel to Cox Mill on Wednesday with a start time of 6:30pm.

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