RONDA — Starmount soccer traveled to East Wilkes Monday night, and they did something they haven’t done all season.
Behind a relentless offensive attack and an improved midfield, the Starmount Rams defeated the East Wilkes Cardinals 7-0 for their first shutout win of the season. For the Rams (8-4, 4-2 MVAC), the offense started quickly, and did not stop. Defensively, the Rams gave the Cardinals some opportunities in the first half, but as the second half went on, their opportunities started to fizzle away.
“We’re happy, but it was just defensive organization,” Head Coach Edgar Zamora said. “They stayed organized. They stayed focused for a complete game. Once we stopped turning the ball over in the midfield… they couldn’t get the ball as much.”
In the first minute of the game, Juan Mora gave Jeyson Pineda a great lob pass to setup a two-on-one opportunity inside the penalty area. Pineda found Salomon Maya who put the ball in the back of the net for the goal.
“We wanted to score as soon as possible, get them off balance,” Mora said.
Pineda would find another Maya seven minutes later, as Victor Maya rifled a shot just below the crossbar for the 2-0 lead. Keeping things quick, Colby Macemore gave the ball to Kaleb Dickerson who found some open space to score. However, in the closing minutes of the first half, East Wilkes had its best opportunity to score, as a defensive lapse gave the Cardinals a breakaway chance. This gave keeper Hunter Johnson the chance to come up big with a save, which he did.
“It feels good,” Johnson said. “It definitely puts the pressure off now that you’ve got one [shutout] out of the way, and I hope for many more to come.”
Offensively, the Rams dominated in the second half by controlling the midfield. Every player out there was eager to score, and kept the ball off of the Cardinals’ feet. Jordan Anderson scored on a corner kick with a high lob over keeper. A few minutes later, Pineda, who had numerous opportunities throughout the game, coming inches away from goals many times, finally broke through for a goal. Following that, Andres Ocampo came in for him, scoring twice in under a minute.
“We have a really strong offense, and if there is any angle whatsoever that we have, we’re going to take a shot, and we’re going to put it in the back of the net,” Johnson said.
For the Rams, their next two opponents are not strong this season. They played at Alleghany, a team which has not won since 2012, then North Wilkes, whose lone win so far this year came against Alleghany. However, despite playing weaker teams, that doesn’t mean they don’t want to keep their foot down.
“We were hoping to get a win today, tomorrow, and Wednesday,” Victor Maya said. “We keep this up, and we’ll get it done.”
Ryan DeCosta can be reached at 336-258-4052 or via Twitter @rsdecosta.