Seeing is believing as Pam Pack routs Ayden-Grifton, 9-0

Published 10:41 pm Monday, September 18, 2017

It’s been rough sailing for a Washington soccer team accustomed to contending for state championships. The Pam Pack lost three in a row to stiff non-conference competition in South Central, Rose and Conley. It then dropped a 2-0 game to 2-A Eastern Carolina Conference foe North Lenoir.

Washington got back into the win column, and built some confidence, in a 9-0 shellacking of new league foe Ayden-Grifton on Monday.

“These guys have witnessed Pam Pack teams that were able to score nine goals almost 50 percent of the time for the last few years,” coach Jim Kozuch said. “For these guys, it has been a rude awakening. Gaining a little confidence just seeing the ball hit the back of the net means a lot for us.”

Danny Jimenez put his first past senior Charger goalkeeper Marissah Waggoner when he got a head on the ball after a messy series in the penalty area. It gave the Pam Pack a 1-0 lead just six minutes in.

Spencer Worley — the Washington junior starting in the net in place of the injured Kevin Avilla — made a save at the other end six minutes later. It allowed his side to double its advantage. Sophomore Parker Graham pushed the ball down the left wing and sent in a cross. It missed his intended target, but found its way right onto the foot of Jarod Espinoza, who put it in the goal.

Ayden-Grifton was whistled for a handball in the box. Patrick Lovenberg stepped up for the ensuing penalty kick and converted with ease, making it 3-0 just 15 minutes in.

Kozuch started a younger lineup than usual. The early success from the less experienced players was a sight he enjoyed.

“The guys that started the game deserved to be out there,” he said. “In a lot of close games, I don’t get to do a lot of the substituting I’d like to do. Everybody that’s on the team has worked really hard and deserves to be out there. They didn’t just start the game. They scored goals.”

The Pam Pack elders took over from there. Marcos Bolivar put on a one-man show as he broke in down the left side and placed a laser in the low corner on the far side. Tim Anglim, streaking down the left wing, was on the receiving end of Graham’s pass over the top. He found twine. Jimenez put in his second after the ball trickled to his foot on a broken play following a throw in.

It marked the third goal in less than 10 minutes, producing a 6-0 halftime lead. It only took 16 minutes into the second half for Washington to wrap things up via the nine-goal lead mercy rule.

Bolivar flicked one into the goal 11 minutes into the half. Anglim completed the hat trick by one timing a pass from Oscar Espinoza past Waggoner. Dawson Cox finished it when he went top shelf.

“I really liked the last three goals. I thought we executed very nicely,” said Kozuch, who described some of the first-half goals as ugly. “We knew we were going to be able to score some goals, so we wanted to do some things that were going to make us better.”

Washington gets back at it Wednesday at South Lenoir.