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Cougars top Comets to stay undefeated

Stephanie King

It was a battle of the unbeaten on Thursday as the Southwestern Randolph Cougars hosted the Asheboro Blue Comets in a Mid-Piedmont Conference varsity soccer matchup. Southwestern Randolph entered the game 7-0 in conference play and 14-0 overall on the season, while Asheboro was 8-0 in conference play and 16-0 overall on the season.

This was an intense battle from the start as both teams were looking to stay undefeated on the season. Defense would be the key in the first half as every single player stepped up to keep the score tied by halftime. The Blue Comets looked to break the tie midway through the half with a shot right near the goal, but Jairo Jaimes made the save for the Cougars. Moments later, Southwestern Randolph’s Seth Bagley found himself in a position to score, but the Blue Comets quickly saved the ball. Both Jose Tinnoco and John Cernava had strong performances in goal for both teams. Late in the half, Omar Aboutaleb had what looked to be an open look at the goal, but Kendon Gann came from out of nowhere for a sliding save. The game would remain tied 0-0 at the half.

The game continued in the second half where it left off in the first. Unlike in the first half, the teams were finally able to put the ball in the back of the net. Southwestern Randolph would be the first to strike when Alex Mercado scored off an assist from Martin Gann. The Cougars’ defense held the Comets scoreless for most of the second half, but eventually, the Comets found an opening. Asheboro scored with fifteen minutes left in the half to tie the game at 1 all. The game would stay tied 1-1 at the end of regulation. This one would go into overtime and would remain tied by the end. Penalty kicks would decide a winner as the Cougars outshot the Comets 4-2. Southwestern Randolph stays undefeated and hands the Blue Comets their first loss of the season. These two teams will meet again on Monday on the Blue Comets’ home field.

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