Photo and article from Laieke Abebe
Spring Creek got off to a fast start and never looked back in its second round playoff match.
The seventh seeded Gators dominated in a 10-1 romp of East Carteret to advance to round three. Their record improves to 16-2-1 on the season while the Mariners finish 3-9-1.
“Even though cold weather conditions were tough to play in, the boys stayed focused,” Spring Creek head coach Miguel Torres said. “East Carteret made it difficult for us to score, but once the first one went it, we relaxed and started playing our game.”
Five minutes in, Adrain Tavera got the scoring started with two goals in a 45-second span. The Mariners would respond with goal off a free kick scramble to make it 2-1.
After that, it was smoothing sailing for the Gators who weathered the storm to take care of business. Luis Velazquez would add a goal and Tavera would complete a first half hat trick to add to Spring Creek’s lead.
After a long-range shot was saved by Mariners goalkeeper Wyatt Nowacek the ball deflected off of Oswaldo Escudero and into the net making it a four-goal advantage. Goals by Jonah Velazquez and Ozias Miteu made it 7-1 at halftime.
Alex Morales scored in the second half for his team-leading 28th goal of the season. Jossue Hernandez got in the act as well scoring to put the Gators one goal away from the mercy rule.
East Carteret won a penalty to start the second half, but it was skied over the crossbar. In the end, Miteu’s second goal would give the Gators and nine-goal lead concluding the match with 24 minutes left in the second half.
Spring Creek will travel to face No. 2 Greene Central on Monday in a rematch from their regular season meeting on Sept. 14. The Gators fell 2-1 to the Rams in what was their first game after a COVID-19 hiatus that lasted three weeks.
“Our form is at it’s peak right now,” Torres added. “That’s the way it has to be if we want to keep advancing. Greene Central is a great team and it’s the biggest game of the season, so we have to be ready to play.