Washington scorches Edenton, 9-0

Published 9:15 pm Monday, August 29, 2016

Washington improved to 3-0 on the season with a 9-0 thumping of Edenton on Monday evening. The Pam Pack cruised its way to victory as Rob Zerniak led the way with a pair of goals and four other players put the ball in the back of the net.

The offensive explosion followed up a similar one at Edenton last week. Coach Jim Kozuch was curious to see where the team’s offense would stand after losing Freddy Jimenez and Kyle Hodges, but Washington has now scored 19 goals in two games.

“I think we’re going to figure out our defense and right now, it looks like our midfield is going to be strong,” Kozuch said.

The Pam Pack burst out of the gates when Zack Pagnani scored in the second minute. An Edenton own goal two minutes later gave Washington a 2-0 lead less than five minutes into the game.

Leading early on allowed Washington to settle down and completely command possession. The midfield excelled in doing so, presenting Kozuch with a personnel problem — albeit a good one.

“I’ve got four or five midfielders that are playing good,” Kozuch said. “Wyatt Shackleford, Tim Anglim looks great, Oscar (Espinoza) looks great, Blake (Parker) looks good, Eric (Ruiz) looks good. It’s a good problem to have.”

The Pam Pack midfield created opportunity after opportunity. Ruiz set up at the top of the box in the 10th minute. He found space to drill a shot at the Aces’ goalkeeper, who got a piece of the shot but couldn’t stop it.

Ruiz followed up his goal with a cross in from the top-left corner of the box. The keeper again got a piece of the ball off Ruiz’s foot, but deflected it right onto the boot of Cody Pinkham, who put Washington ahead 4-0 in the 22nd minute.

A minute later, Shackleford ripped a shot that deflected off of Zerniak. Edenton then was credited with its second own goal of the game, giving Washington a 6-0 lead going into halftime.

With the game all but decided by halftime, Washington was able to have some fun in the second half. It started off with the boys experimenting with a new set piece where half of them surrounded the opposing keeper on a corner kick. Victor Hernandez also attempted a bicycle kick on a rebound early in the half.

“I told them we’re going to continue to play hard, but we’re going to have some fun and try out different positions,” Kozuch said. “We’re falling into our own a little bit right now, which is nice to see. We’re getting better.”

Ben McKeithan fights off an Edenton defender as he tries to take the ball to the corner.

Washington put in three more goals to end the game 16 minutes early by way of mercy rule. Marcos Bolivar made scoring look easy when he dribbled in from the right side of the box to beat the keeper for a goal.

In the 55th minute, Ben McKeithan nearly launched one of his patented throw ins into the net. The keeper deflected into the post, but was down and out as a crowd of Pam Pack forwards converged on the rebound. Zerniak ended up tapping it in to make it 8-0 Washington.

Hernandez then buried a shot from the top of the box to end the game.

Washington looks to keep its undefeated start alive on Wednesday when Greene Central visits.