SALISBURY — It didn’t take long for Salisbury to mark its territory in the CCC boys soccer race.
The second-ranked Hornets assumed their usual perch atop the league standings Wednesday night with a smartly played 5-1 victory over visiting East Davidson.
“The games start carrying a heavier weight now,” senior midfielder Phil Simons said after SHS (10-1, 1-0) opened its conference season with a command performance. “We had to start off by making a statement.”
This was more of an exclamation mark. Salisbury outshot East 25-6, scored three goals in the opening 12 minutes and coasted to its eighth straight win.
Now factor in that the Hornets did it without goal-scoring machine Bobby Cardelle — out indefinitely with a separated shoulder — it becomes even more impressive.
And just for kicks, consider that Salisbury was playing its third match in three nights.
“That’s part of my philosophy,” coach Matt Parrish said. “You challenge yourself early in the year so that when late-in-the-year comes, you’re battle-tested.”
East Davidson (1-7-1, 0-1) found out in a hurry. The Golden Eagles barely had time to wipe their feet on the CCC welcome mat when Salisbury’s Emmy Turcios banged home the game’s first goal just 44 seconds into the match. “The first shot (by Landon Goodman) hit the crossbar,” he explained. “I jumped on the rebound.”
ED coach Paul McIntire wasn’t all that surprised. “We knew they’d come out with pressure,” he said. “We were just trying to figure out how long it would take them. It seemed like they knew what they were going to do with the ball before they even received it.”
Salisbury’s second goal illustrates McIntire’s point. The match was less than five minutes old when midfielder Clint Comadoll took a crossing pass from Lucas Capito and scored on a bicycle kick.
“The pass was a little behind me,” Comadoll said. “But I always wanted to hit a bike in a game and that was a perfect chance.”
Moments later it was 3-0, thanks to a quick reaction by Turcios. Following a long throw-in by Simons, the ball was deflected by Salisbury’s Michael Brown. Turcios, off-balance for a split second, found the ball and volleyed it past East keeper Tyler Sneed.
Brown made it 4-0 and chased Sneed when he took a feed from sophomore Joshua Lynch and buried a short-range shot with 15:05 remaining in the first half.
Sneed — who was replaced in net by Kyle Rae — netted ED’s only goal late in the opening half when he slid a rebound past fallen SHS keeper Max Fisher. Goodman, the sophomore who started in Cardelle’s place, closed the scoring with a well-placed shot midway through the second half.
“It was a good test,” Simons said afterward. “Without Bobby it changed our personnel. But we have a deep bench and anyone can step up at any time.”
NOTES: Parrish estimated that 17 SHS players saw at least 20 minutes of action. … The Hornets face a tougher CCC challenge Monday at Lexington.