Seahawks kickoff season with high-scoring performance

Published 8:14 pm Tuesday, August 14, 2018

CHOCOWINITY — The Southside soccer team couldn’t have asked for a better start to the 2018 season, easily brushing aside visiting Ayden-Grifton 7-1 Monday evening.

The high-scoring victory came as a bit of a surprise to Seahawks head coach Jay Petty, due to the fact Mother Nature interfered with Southside’s preseason preparations.

“We struggled (getting practice time) primarily because of the weather. We’ve not been able to get to the field; it’s been so wet, so nasty,” Petty said. “So, to come out and put seven in, I’m really kind of pleased. I’m looking forward to what the kids can do the rest of the season.”

Santiago Lengyel Serralde terrorized Ayden-Grifton’s defenders all game long, scoring two goals and constantly beating Chargers on the dribble. His performance saw Petty name him the player of the game, but he wasn’t the only Seahawk who had a strong game. Luke Matthews bagged two goals for himself, while Victor Gonzalez, Jaime Guzman and Eduardo Gonzalez all chipped in with a goal as well. Midfielder Jairo Juarez also showed why he wears the No. 10 jersey, racking up two assists and setting up his teammates all game long.

GUESS WHO’S BACK: Seahawk Luke Matthews soars above several Ayden-Grifton defenders to win a header from a corner on Monday. Matthews, who missed all of last season due to injury, scored two goals in his return game against the Chargers. (Sean Finnerty | Daily News)

The amount of attacking talent on his roster is something Petty is excited about moving forward this season.

“I’ve really got a core group of kids who can go forward with the ball, between Luke Matthews, Jairo Juarez, Santiago of course, Victor Gonzalez and you saw I pulled my two centerbacks. They went forward for a little bit and did just about as good,” Petty said. “I’ve really got some kids that can go forward. I’m really kind of thrilled with that.”

Another bright note from the game was the return of Matthews, who missed all of last season through injury. Along with scoring twice, he was very active and a constant threat in the attack, while also showing leadership on the field.

“(Matthews) did not get to play at all last year, so I was really pleased with what he came out and did tonight for being his first game in probably two years,” Petty said. “You could tell he was still a little out of sync, because he hasn’t played in so long. But what I liked is, he’s a senior and he was a senior on the field tonight. Giving commands, talking, keeping players’ heads in it.”

Southside will look to continue its high-scoring ways today, as they play host to Perquimans. Game two of the season is scheduled to kickoff at 6 p.m.