The Pam Pack defeat Ayden-Grifton in a rout

Published 2:56 pm Thursday, September 20, 2018

AYDEN — Playing in its first game since Hurricane Florence, the Washington soccer team got right back to its winning ways, defeating Ayden-Grifton, 9-0, yesterday for the Pam Pack’s fourth-consecutive victory.

Washington (6-3) dominated for much of the match, maintaining possession and keeping the Chargers (2-3) pinned inside their half of the field. The Pam Pack built a five-goal lead in the first half, thanks to scores from Elvin Elizalde, Henry Jennings, who buried a penalty kick after a handball in the box, Dawson Cox and Tim Anglim, who scored twice. Anglim capped the first-half scoring on a breakaway after Mike Reid played him in on goal with a through ball.

Washington maintained its dominance in the second half, rarely allowing Ayden-Grifton possession of the ball. Ridge Zerniak, one of five Pam Pack JV players called up for the game, scored twice within two minutes to give Washington a 7-0 lead 11 minutes into the second half. The highlight of the freshman’s goals was his first, as he received the ball at the top of the box and calmly curled a shot that bounced off the inside of the right post and in. Reid and Stewert Hopper contributed with second-half goals as well.

Washington head coach Jim Kozuch said he used yesterday’s game as a way to get more experience for his younger players, including the players brought up from the JV squad, and was happy to get the win.

“We played 24 guys today. The starting lineup had zero seniors in it. It was all kids that should be playing next year, so we wanted to see what they can do. They had a good opportunity; they scored a couple of goals in the second half, just a great learning moment,” Kozuch said. “They (the JV players) started and they played well. A little hesitant to start, but that’s why we brought them up, to get them a little comfort level now, and hopefully we’ll be able to get them more time in the future.”

Along with giving some younger guys a chance to gain some experience, Kozuch experimented with a new formation. The Pam Pack usually play with a four-man backline, but yesterday Washington hit the field with three center backs and two defensive midfielders.

“We’re trying some things,” Kozuch said. “We’ve been giving up a goal every game and we’re just trying to find the best formation here still. We’ll see.”