Vipers sputter in the second half, lose 7-0 to South Granville

Apr. 23—CREEDMOOR — Vance County head soccer coach Roanna Evans pleaded with her team to give her one goal — just one ball in the back of the net — to turn things around in the second half.

Instead, the Lady Vipers let in six goals and lost to the South Granville Vikings 7-0 on Monday after beating them earlier in the season.

The Vipers were missing multiple key players as they have been battling with injuries all year. Notably missing were midfielder Nicola Thompson, left back Selena Banda and freshman forward Maria Dominguez-Galvez,

Despite only trailing by one goal at the break, the lack of personnel was too much to overcome for the Vipers as they could not string together productive offensive possessions.

Even with the sun in the goalies' eyes in the second half, they didn't capitalize and barely put any pressure on the goalkeeper. In the few chances that they did, the ball was kicked right to the keeper.

For Evans, it's a learning process with this team. In only her second year, she has guided this program to more wins than her recent predecessors.

"It's better, but it's not where it needs to be," she said. "I had to try and change the culture."

A teacher at heart, Evans implores her pupils to watch and play more soccer in their free time and during the offseason. She "hopes for better days," setting her sights on future seasons as this one winds down.

Freshman Alliston Lira was still fighting for the ball aggressively despite being down big in the second half, but the rest of the team mostly gave up. Vance County let in some easy ones in the second half, but South Granville's star senior Madalyn Yates also made some tough ones as she got going.

Early in the second, Yates dribbled through nearly the entire Vipers defense to score a deep shot from the top of the box. Then, a penalty in the box gave Vikings junior Madison Martinez-Molina a free chance one-on-one with the keeper — which she drained into the right side of the net.

Invigorated after a fistful of goals, the Vikings were flying to the ball as Ellie Bryan found herself in a breakaway and finished on the Vipers' goalie to go up 6-0 and close any remaining hopes of a comeback for Vance County.

For South Granville, this win was a "crucial" part of their playoff plans, and if they can win out the rest of the year, they will secure a spot in the postseason.

Meanwhile, the Vipers fall to 3-13 on the year after the loss to the Vikings. With only five games remaining in the season, the Vipers will hope to squeak one out against a winless J.F. Webb team on Wednesday.