High school soccer: Hornets edge South for resilient win

Published 12:03 am Tuesday, August 23, 2022

Staff report

SALISBURY — Two goals and an assist by freshman Abdul Eliwa lifted Salisbury’s boys soccer team to a 3-2 victory against South Rowan on Monday.

“At this point in time, with so many brand new guys, this was a huge one for us to get,” SHS head coach Matt Parrish said. “Down twice and we fought back to get the win.”

When Salisbury lost to West Rowan 3-2 last week to open the season, that was something that hadn’t happened in a long time. This is Parrish’s 12th season as boys head coach and it was the first time he’s dropped a match to the Falcons.

“I do remember the last time Salisbury lost to West (when he was an assistant coach), but I don’t remember the exact year,” Parrish said. “I know it was at West, the final score was 3-1, and Daniel Guertin was our goalkeeper.”

Guertin was a memorable player, so that would put that loss around 2005, before most of this season’s players were born.

“And we didn’t just lose to West last week, we lost 3-2 in a game we controlled in the first half and led 2-0 with 35 minutes left,” Parrish said. “Adversity came and we didn’t hold it together. When you lose your first game of the season to a county opponent, then the sharks start circling. There’s blood in the water. Everyone starts believing this is their year to beat Salisbury. We lost a ton of experience. It’s going to be scary for us for a while, and we know we’re going to get everyone’s best shot.”

Salisbury (1-1) survived South’s best shot in a back-and-forth match. South led 1-0 after a half, and it wasn’t flukey. The Raiders had possession 60 percent of the time, but missed some scoring chances, including a PK that hit the cross bar.

Eliwa got the equalizer on a PK two minutes into the second half.

“He’s got a chance to be a special one,” Parrish said. “He knew we had to have that goal. He grabbed the ball on the PK, put it on the spot and knocked it in.”

South (2-1) wasn’t fazed. The Raiders answered immediately to go back in front 2-1.

Salisbury trailed for eight minutes before Ethan Ott scored on an Eliwa assist for 2-all with 27 minutes remaining.

Eliwa got the game-winner with less than two minutes left on the Ludwig Stadium scoreboard. Giovany Rivera had the assist.

Salisbury goalkeeper Chris Beltran-Alveno still had to make several stops to preserve the win, but he turned away the Raiders.

Parrish gave a lot of credit to Carlos Henriquez and Joseph Hernandez in the midfield. Their work allowed the Hornets to grab the momentum in the second half.

“Just a lot of guts and heart and we were able to pull it out,” Parrish said. “We didn’t fold this time. We kept pushing, kept battling. We’ll learn. You can’t play 40 minutes and you can’t play 60. You have to play the full 80.”

The Hornets play Forest Hills at home on Wednesday. Parrish hopes this new-look team can build off its first win.

“We’ve had a lot of good teams at Salisbury, but that doesn’t mean the mantel is simply handed down to the next team,” Parrish said. “Every team has to earn it. Tonight a new bunch of guys started earning it.”


NOTES: Parrish is being assisted by Landon Goodman, one of the legends of Salisbury soccer. Goodman scored 113 goals for the Hornets, including 66 in his incredible 2015 season. Eliwa has scored three of Salisbury’s five goals this season. “He’s got a great mentor in Landon,” Parrish said. “Landon still has him by 110 goals.” … Michael Coles and Brian Diaz Robles scored for South.