The Seahawks down the Eagles to continue fast start to season

Published 6:46 pm Tuesday, August 28, 2018

VANCEBORO — The Southside soccer team’s white-hot start to the season continued on Monday, as the Seahawks proved to be too much for West Craven, defeating the Eagles, 7-1, in Vanceboro.

“I’m kind of awestruck right now,” Southside head coach Jay Petty said. “I wasn’t expecting us to be where we’re at right now at this point of the season. Last year, we struggled to kind of get ourselves out of the gate the first couple of games. These guys have just taken right off. They’re bought in to what we’re trying to do, and they’re really working hard at accomplishing that. I’ve been really impressed with them.”

Averaging 5.8 goals per game so far this season, Southside (5-0) quickly made its mark in the game. 10 minutes in, Luke Matthews broke free through the West Craven (0-1) defense to open the game’s scoring after being set up by a Santiago Lengyel Serralde through ball. The Seahawks controlled much of the possession from that point, keeping the ball in the Eagles’ side of the field.

One goal wasn’t enough for Matthews and the senior nabbed two more in the first half to record his second hat trick of the young season. Matthews’ second goal was similar to the first, except it was Johnathan Hernandez who played the pass that sent Matthews in on goal to score. The third goal showed Matthews scores ugly goals as well. Lengyel Serralde dribbled in on goal and fired a shot, which West Craven’s goalkeeper was able to block, but Matthews was on hand to clean up, tapping the rebound into the net.

Up 3-0 at halftime, Southside head coach Jay Petty decided to move some of his players around, but still produced the same results. Matthews and Lengyel Serralde swapped roles, as Matthews became the supplier, feeding Lengyel Serralde, who scored a goal of his own. Perhaps feeling left out, Jairo Juarez got in on the action, scoring the next two goals for Southside. Lengyel Serralde set up Juarez’s first goal, registering his second assist of the night, while Hernandez assisted on Juarez’s second from a throw-in.

The foursome of Matthews, Lengyel Serralde, Juarez and Hernandez has been pivotal to Southside’s fast start to the season, as they have combined for 24 goals and 12 assists so far this year. What Petty enjoys most about them is the unselfishness they display on the field.

“The crazy thing is they love to feed off of each other. You see the assists from one to another. It’s not just one wanting to go forward, they’re all looking to play each other into space and set each other up,” Petty said. “It’s been really nice to see how they play together. At the end of the day, they want to win ball games. They don’t really care who leading scorer is.”

Southside has shown it has several attacking options to choose from, but a new weapon seemed to emerge on Monday. Hernandez’s long throw-ins proved to be dangerous, as the Seahawks’ final goal of the game came as a result of a throw-in as well. Petty said he instructed Hernandez to throw the ball near the West Craven keeper to create danger, and an Eagle defender ended up deflecting the ball into the net for an own goal.

West Craven scored a consolation goal late in the game, after Petty made many substitutions to give some of his younger players more experience. The Eagles could’ve scored more, but Southside goalkeeper Johan Prado helped preserve the lead, coming up with eight saves in the second half after not having much to do in the first 40 minutes.

Southside travels to Farmville Central today in an attempt to continue the undefeated start to the season. Kickoff is scheduled for 6 p.m.