West takes down East, 4-1, in men's soccer all-star match
Posted July 18
Updated July 19
Greensboro, N.C. — It took an extra 50 minutes for kickoff due to inclement weather, but the N.C. Coaches Association East-West Men’s Soccer All-Star Game was played at rain-soaked Bryan Park in Greensboro Tuesday night.
The West squad was victorious for the second time in the last three years, downing the East, 4-1, with two goals apiece from Reed Hunnicutt of South Mecklenburg and Chase’s Preston Walker.
“We only had one training session because of the weather, which makes it really hard to create a lineup and get some cohesiveness with the boys,” said East head coach Joe McCarthy. “We just didn’t have that tonight. I thought they worked hard. I thought the West outworked us a little bit more, and they seemed to play together as an 11 that we did.”
With the win on Tuesday, the West improves its record to 10-12-4 all-time in the annual match.
Walker connected with Hunnicutt for a header in the 15th minute that beat Clinton’s Gray Sutter for the early one-goal lead.
Walker found the back of the net himself in the 37th minute after a long solo run, dribbling past several East defenders and sending a shot in from distance.
The East squad’s best look of the first half was in the 19th minute on a header from Dashaun Brown of White Oak, but Brown misdirected the ball up and over the crossbar.
Rain slowed in the second half but the Western All-Stars didn’t.
Hunnicutt netted his second goal of the match quickly after kickoff, grabbing a pass from Tyson Hichman of West Henderson and beating the East goalkeeper in the 42nd minute to extend the West’s lead by three goals.
The East finally broke through in the 65th minute with a goal from Chapel Hill’s Sam Linker to break the scoreless streak.
“Jose [Anguiano] picked out a great ball, just trying to make a run so we could get something going,” Linker said. “He found the opening and we got to put it away."
But moments after the East gained momentum, Walker secured the match for the West with his second goal one minute following Linker’s tally.
Walker was named the All-Star game’s MVP for this five-point performance, finishing with two goals and one assist.
Brown had two quality chances in the final 10 minutes, banging the latter attempt off the crossbar in the 73rd minute.
Tuesday’s match was McCarthy’s final appearance as a high school soccer coach, calling it a career after 32 years at Northern Nash.
“It wasn’t the result I wanted, but it’s an honor to be selected to do this,” McCarthy said. “They thought that highly of me to come out here represent the East and get to work with this fine group of young men.”