SALISBURY — Salisbury’s boys soccer team stuck to the script on Monday.
The Hornets celebrated Senior Night at Ludwig Stadium by pounding winless North Rowan 9-0 — with single goals provided by nine different seniors.
“We didn’t want to streamline it. We wanted to play a balanced game,” coach Matt Parrish said after SHS (20-1, 10-0 CCC) put the finishing touch on its 10th consecutive conference championship. “But we also wanted each of seniors to have the opportunity to score.”
So on a night when Salisbury acknowledged 10 soon-to-be graduates, all but one — defender Nick Greene — netted a goal.
“It was just a fun way to spend your Senior Night,” midfielder Phil Simons said after registering one of Salisbury’s seven first-half tallies. “Everyone got to share the wealth.”
North (0-14, 0-10) was mercy-ruled for the third time in this, its return-from-dormancy season. The Cavaliers were outshot 39-0 and truly played more self-defense than defense.
“Well, they are the No. 1 team in the state,” junior keeper Arnold Lezama said after making 14 saves. “In the beginning we were pressuring the ball and not letting them get clear shots. But they’re so goo. They just find a way to get there.”
Salisbury, which has outscored its opposition 116-22 this fall, has won 18 straight matches since falling 3-2 in overtime to Statesville on Aug. 26. But the Hornets did not solve Lezama until the game’s 17th minute — on their 13th shot — when Bobby Cardelle took a feed from Clint Comadoll and scored on a tic-tac-toe play in front.
“They were definitely sitting back,” Cardelle said after notching his 92nd career goal and 32nd this season. “But we knew once we got one, the rest would follow.”
North coach Ray Wingerson called Salisbury “very organized,” and added: “I thought we had a pretty good start. They didn’t score for the first 17 or minutes. In a game earlier this year we gave up a goal in the first 30 seconds.”
A minute later John Canipe’s header made it 2-0 and with 20:29 remaining in the half Simons rifled an 18-yarder that tucked just under the crossbar.
“Once we started scoring and took over, we began taking our time and not rushing the ball,” teammate Zack Sukkasem said.
Parrish said there was good reason for that.
“I had very specific rules about tonight’s game,” he explained. “Like this was allowed to happen and this was not. Nobody could score twice. I think everybody was being ridiculously passive, attempting to be as unselfish as possible and get everyone involved in the offense.”
Given that mandate, the Hornets methodically went about their business. Carlos Zanudo made it 4-0 midway through the half and Comadoll converted a tip-in about three minutes later. Luis Diaz (1 goal, 3 assists) was next to shine when his low blast from the left side deflected off the right post and into the net. Sukkasem, the team leader with 25 assists, made it 7-0 with less than two minutes to go.
The second half lasted only nine minutes and 10 seconds. By then the Hornets had peppered seven more shots toward the North cage, including Lucas Capito’s belt-high smash Emmy Turcios’ sharp grounder from the right side that beat Lezama.
With the 2A state playoffs looming, it’s unlikely the Hornets will have another match like this. “We know the history of our program and we know what to expect,” Cardelle said. “Anything can happen in the playoffs.”
TALLADEGA, Ala. — They plan and tinker, double-check this and triple-check that. Then, they cross their fingers, stick a rabbit’s... read more