EA pushes past Gators to open district
ST.?AMANT?– East Ascension cracked the scoreboard with less than five minutes remaining in the first half and added two second-half goals on way to a 3-1 District 6-I opening victory over St. Amant Friday night at the Pit.
Edwin Morales, Brandon Ruiz and Jared Hill each scored for East Ascension (5-1-2, 1-0) while Jade Tomeny provided seven saves.
“I’ll take the first one,” East Ascension head coach Bruno Van Moer said. “I would have much rather come up with the clean sheet but I will take the win. I didn’t like the last goal at the end. We looked like we were slacking.”
Kevin Cundiff scored St. Amant’s lone goal. Michael McDonald provided 10 saves for the Gators (8-6-2, 0-2).
“It was a big game and they capitalized on their chances when we didn’t,” St. Amant head coach Adrian Garcia said. “I was pleased with the effort of my guys. They don’t quit. They play till the whistle blows. We just fell on the short end of the stick tonight.”
St. Amant took the first shot of the night when Chase Squires headed Dylan Galatas’ corner kick wide right.
The Spartans would take seven of the next nine attempts. Ruiz had two shots sail just high before Carlos Hermosillo’s attempt was just over the crossbar.
“(McDonald) did a good job but we kept shooting too much on him instead of making him save the ball,” Van Moer said. “They didn’t have their starting outside back so I told my guys to go from the outside in and I thought it worked really well.”
Hermosillo utilized fancy footwork to find Morales wide open deep inside for a counter shot that sailed into the bottom right corner past a diving McDonald with 4:55 left to play in the first half after the Gators took the previous five shots.
“I would prefer a more simple style of soccer but none of the guys enjoy it so if it works, I am not going to get mad at them for that,” Van Moer said. “The guys are in good condition.”
The goal occurred just as Morales returned the field after being substituted for earlier in the half.
“We don’t have the luxury of sitting guys right now,” Garcia said. “We have four starters out with injuries. I thought our guys played as hard as they could. EA played good. Give them all the credit.”
Tomeny saved Jordan Bruno’s free kick before halftime.
Ruiz and Hill’s goals came in the second half.
With under two minutes left to play, St. Amant got on the board when Cundiff pushed Jaxon Lambert’s corner kick past Tomeny to prevent a shutout.
“It meant a lot for us because it shows we don’t give up,” Garcia said. “I wish we could of got a few more. We were in front of the goal a lot tonight but they made the saves they had to.”
East Ascension traveled to East St.?John Monday, while St. Amant hosts Woodlawn tonight at the Pit.