Matthews’ four goals help lead Southside to victory

Published 9:30 pm Thursday, August 16, 2018

CHOCOWINITY — After missing the 2017 soccer season due to injury, Southside’s Luke Matthews appears to be on a mission to make up for lost time, scoring four goals on Wednesday to guide the Seahawks to a 7-0 win over Perquimans.

“It kills me that I didn’t have him last year, because we won conference last year, and I think where we would’ve been had we had him last year,” Southside head coach Jay Petty said. “He’s just an outstanding player. You saw the work ethic; he just does not quit until he can’t go anymore. A couple of those goals, they were assisted to him, but it’s because he’s doing the extra work to get in the right place to do the right thing. Just an outstanding player, and I enjoy watching the kid play.”

Matthews took little time to net his first goal of the match. Just six minutes in, he received the ball at the top of the box and calmly fired a low shot to the far post past the diving Pirate goalkeeper. The Seahawks controlled much of the play from that point, threatening several times to score again. Then with 17 minutes remaining in the half, Matthews jumped on a loose ball five yards outside of the box and let fly with another shot to the far post that nestled in the lower corner, giving Southside a 2-0 lead.

“I just felt the need to test the goalie on the first one and got positive results and tested him again the second time, got another positive result,” Matthews said. “(I thought) ‘Keep shooting it until he blocks one of mine.’”

The Seahawks started the second half even faster than the first, as midfielder Jairo Juarez received the ball in the box from a flick-on header off a throw-in, and the playmaker buried the ball past the onrushing goalie. Juarez turned provider a few minutes later, as he slipped a through ball into the box, which Matthews was able to get on the end of for a simple finish to complete the hat trick.

Along with Matthews’ fourth goal of the game, Santiago Lengyel Serralde and Eduardo Gonzalez chipped in with goals over the game’s final 30 minutes to close out the blowout win.

After two playing two games, Southside has outscored its opponents by a margin of 14-1, leaving Petty pleased with his team. But as is the case with all coaches, he sees room for improvement.

“We still just got to get up to game speed; it’s the biggest thing,” Petty said. “We’re still a little slow in our touches and our turns and handling the ball. And we did a lot of work on that Tuesday in practice, because that was what we were struggling on Monday. I felt like we were better at it tonight, but I still got some players who just aren’t there yet.”

Southside will next play on Monday, when the Seahawks travel to Ayden-Grifton for a rematch with the Chargers. The game will kick off at 4 p.m.