High School Sports

Garinger tops Watauga 4-1 in soccer playoffsGaringer tops Watauga 4-1 in soccer playoffs

Garinger’s Wildcats are moving into new territory in the soccer postseason.

The Wildcats got off to a quick start in beating Watauga 4-1 in the second round of the N.C. 4A playoffs on Saturday at Phil Hughston Stadium, one better than last year’s team.

“We lost in the second round last year, so we didn’t know what to expect,” Garinger coach David Garrett said. “We’re blessed to be going on to the third round. Everybody is running on full cylinders, no major injuries right now and we’re coming together as a team.”

The Wildcats (18-3-2) got started early when Juan Carlos Garcia struck on a rebound in the 14th minute, the third straight match he’s scored after a change from defenseman to forward.

“He’s been really hot lately. He’s scored in the last three games and had multiple-goal games,” Garrett said. “He’s come up with big goals, and that’s a good way to start.”

Garinger’s best player, forward Tresor Mbuyu, tallied three goals to extend his season total to 54. Watauga (8-13-2) tried packing its defense in front of the goal and went one-on-one against Mbuyu, but Garinger’s quick moving offense pressed forward for a 3-0 lead at the break.

“It was a great game, and I’m very thankful to have an amazing team,” Mbuyu said. “They helped me to play good. Without them, I wouldn’t be able to do all this stuff.”

Watauga adjusted its strategy after halftime to add some offensive spark, but it wasn’t enough against Garinger’s speedy attack. Mbuyu added a third goal to give the Wildcats a 4-0 lead, which left Pioneers coach Woody McKay impressed.

“He’s the best player we’ve seen all year, and the whole team played real hard,” McKay said. “We had a few defensive errors that made it easier for them, but that’s because we were under a lot of pressure. In the second half, we spaced out better, and it was a more even half but they’re better than us and we knew that coming down.”

Advancing keeps alive Garinger’s preseason aspirations and extended the Wildcats’ win streak to seven matches since a 2-1 loss to Porter Ridge on Oct. 8.

“Our goal is the state championship, and we know we have the talent on this team and this team is a family,” Garrett said.

Garinger’s Wildcats are moving into new territory in the soccer postseason.

The Wildcats got off to a quick start in beating Watauga 4-1 in the second round of the N.C. playoffs on Saturday at Phil Hughston Stadium, one better than last year’s team.

“We lost in the second round last year, so we didn’t know what to expect,” Garinger coach David Garrett said. “We’re blessed to be going on to the third round. Everybody is running on full cylinders, no major injuries right now and we’re coming together as a team.”

The Wildcats (18-3-2) got started early when Juan Carlos Garcia struck on a rebound in the 14th minute, the third straight match he’s scored after a change from defenseman to forward.

“He’s been really hot lately. He’s scored in the last three games and had multiple-goal games,” Garrett said. “He’s come up with big goals, and that’s a good way to start.”

Garinger’s best player, forward Tresor Mbuyu, tallied three goals to extend his season total to 54. Watauga (8-13-2) tried packing its defense in front of the goal and went one-on-one against Mbuyu, but Garinger’s quick moving offense pressed forward for a 3-0 lead at the break.

“It was a great game, and I’m very thankful to have an amazing team,” Mbuyu said. “They helped me to play good. Without them, I wouldn’t be able to do all this stuff.”

Watauga adjusted its strategy after halftime to add some offensive spark, but it wasn’t enough against Garinger’s speedy attack. Mbuyu added a third goal to give the Wildcats a 4-0 lead, which left Pioneers coach Woody McKay impressed.

“He’s the best player we’ve seen all year, and the whole team played real hard,” McKay said. “We had a few defensive errors that made it easier for them, but that’s because we were under a lot of pressure. In the second half, we spaced out better, and it was a more even half but they’re better than us and we knew that coming down.”

Advancing keeps alive Garinger’s preseason aspirations and extended the Wildcats’ win streak to seven matches since a 2-1 loss to Porter Ridge on Oct. 8.

“Our goal is the state championship, and we know we have the talent on this team and this team is a family,” Garrett said.

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