Pam Pack wins big on Senior Night

Published 6:23 pm Thursday, October 25, 2018

WASHINGTON — It was a festive night at Washington High School on Wednesday, as the Pam Pack celebrated Senior Night with a 9-0 win over West Craven that saw seven different seniors ripple the back of the net with a goal.

The fireworks started early for Washington (13-4, 9-1 2A Eastern Carolina Conference), as senior Courtland Whitley scored in the game’s second minute, grabbing his second goal of the season after netting his first on Monday. Just 10 minutes later, West Craven (4-9, 3-6 2A ECC) found itself down two goals. A handball by an Eagle defender in West Craven’s box allowed Pam Pack senior goalkeeper Spencer Worley to step up to the penalty spot after fellow senior Tim Aglim called for Worley to take the spot kick. Showing no nerves, Worley buried the penalty kick.

In the span of about seven minutes, Washington increased its lead from two to six goals. First, senior Jarod Espinoza finished from close range after he was left unmarked in the box. Then, within a minute, both Elvin Elizalde and Anglim cleaned up in the penalty box to finish past the Eagle goalkeeper. Graham Parker concluded the scoring in the first half, taking a couple of touches in the box before firing a right-footed shot into the goal.

The Pam Pack might’ve reached the nine-goal mark in the first half, if not for some wayward finishing. Washington had numerous opportunities to add to its lead in the opening 40 minutes, but the crossbar and inaccurate shooting meant the Pam Pack went into halftime with just a six-goal lead.

Despite his team lacking composure at times in front of goal, Washington head coach Jim Kozuch was still happy with how his team played.

“I felt like we played pretty good. We had a hard time scoring a little bit in the first half, missed a couple of easy ones. But it was nice, you know, Senior Night, we got a bunch of seniors to score some goals tonight. So, all in all, (a) happy, good night,” Kozuch said. “We were just trying to share the ball and have a good time, to be honest. Second half, we wanted to try to, we’re trying to get everybody to score this season, so I think we’ve come pretty close to it now. That was kind of our goal.”

The Pam Pack needed little time to reach nine goals, finishing the game off just 11 minutes into the second half. The seventh goal came just two minutes in, with Dawson Cox feeding senior Henry Jennings in the box, with Jennings scoring near-post. Just three minutes later, senior midfielder Oscar Espinoza received the ball at the top of the box, juked to his left to lose his defender and fired the ball home. Senior Gerardo Avila finished the game off, receiving a through ball from Seth Davis and scoring on a breakaway.

Washington has already clinched a spot in the playoffs, but Kozuch faces a battle to keep his team sharp, due to the fact the Pam Pack closes the regular season with games against teams at the bottom of the conference standings in West Craven and Kinston (0-10, 0-10 2A ECC).

“It’s honestly really tough. It’s really not ideal, ending the season this way. It has been tough to keep everybody focused,” Kozuch said. “We try to keep everybody on task, but we’ve got a bunch of alumni that come out and they help out. They put a little pressure on the guys. Things that we’re doing on the weekends are just as important right now, just playing more, playing some other teams as well.”

The Pam Pack will play its second-to-last game of the regular season on Monday, when it makes a trip to Kinston.