Soccer beats unbeaten foe for first win

Published 9:30 am Tuesday, September 26, 2023

By Brian Pitts

Davie Enterprise Record

Doom and gloom was immense heading into the Davie varsity soccer team’s home nonconference game against Elkin on Sept. 20. Coach Marco Rebollar had been dealing with the torture of trying to do more with less throughout an injury-plagued, winless season.

The War Eagles were finally at full capacity when they faced the unbeaten Buckin’ Elks, and they finally got the monkey off their back, 2-1.

Davie handed 1-A Elkin (8-1-1) its first loss and notched its first win in 12 games.

“We were finally healthy … for one game,” Rebollar said after dressing out 18 players. “We haven’t had our whole starting lineup all year long, and it’s made for a very, very tough season. We finally got back a player (senior Will Davis) that got injured last year (torn ACL), and he’s helping out a lot in the back. The guy that controls the center mid, Alex Tarbet, has been out. He came back this week and he got hurt again in the game, so it’s just been one thing after another this year.”

The game was spiced up by the fact Rebollar was facing his former school; he coached at Elkin from 2019-21 before taking over at Davie last year.

“(I know) their whole starting lineup,” he said. “They were freshmen and sophomores when I was there, so that was pretty cool to get to play against them.

“It was an emotional game for sure. I was trying to keep my guys level-headed, trying to treat it just like another game for them. But deep down, I was like: ‘Man, I want this one.’”

Although Elkin got on the board first, the War Eagles did not flinch. Ten minutes later, Tarbet deposited a left-footed shot to tie it at 1.

“They stayed positive (when Elkin took the 1-0 lead),” Rebollar said. “I think it’s the first time I’ve heard them say: ‘We’ve got this. Forget about it. Let’s keep going.’ I was surprised by that; I thought I would see a lot of heads go down. But no, they battled back.”

About 10 minutes after Karson Yount assisted the tying goal, Yount put Davie on top with a right-footed shot from the same spot where Tarbet scored. The tiebreaker was assisted by Zachary Hill.

It was 2-1 at halftime and the entire second half was a white-knuckle struggle.

“It was back and forth, back and forth for 50 minutes,” he said.

In the dying seconds, Elkin had a chance to force overtime. But Tarbet and goalie Felipe Flores combined for a game-clinching stop.

“They had a chance with 15 seconds to go,” he said. “One of their players got the ball and was beating my right back. He was pretty much one on one with my keeper, and then Alex – I put him at center back – chased him down. With like five seconds to go, Alex slid and (Flores) comes out with his hands up. It deflects off one of them and goes off them out of bounds.”

It was a bittersweet game-saving play because Tarbet was injured on the play. So even in victory, Davie’s misfortunes grew.

“He went to the doctor (the next day) and he’s out for a couple weeks,” Rebollar said. “That’s the hardest thing we’ve had to deal with all season. I had high hopes for this season because we were going to be a little bit older. But as soon as the season started, I’m out four or five players due to injuries and one thing after another.”

Notes: The War Eagles played three games in four days last week. Three days before meeting Elkin, Davie lost 6-0 at Mt. Tabor. The Spartans (2-8-1, 1-3 Central Piedmont Conference) climbed out of the cellar and left Glenn and Davie tied for last in the CPC.  … Two days later, Davie lost by the same score against visiting West Forsyth. While the Titans rose to 10-0-2 and 5-0, Davie sank to 0-5 in the league. Davie was outscored 42-6 during the 0-11 start.

Junior Varsity

After dropping four in a row, Davie’s JV got a much-needed 2-1 win over Elkin. Davie did not play great in a game that was scoreless at halftime – it was just good enough to improve to 4-5.

“It should have been 6-1 or better,” coach Scott McBain said. “We won on an off day; that’s a good thing. It was just not a pretty game.”

Freshmen Andy Longares and Hunter Stephens delivered the goals, with Stephens drilling “a stinger right in the corner from 20 yards out,” McBain said.

Earlier in the week, Davie lost 3-0 to Tabor and 6-0 to West Forsyth.