By Carey Phillips
Smoky Mountain had eight players score and breezed to a 9-0 non-conference soccer victory Aug. 25 at Erwin.
The game ended with just more than five minutes remaining due to the nine-goal rule. Coach Stephen Brown said it was the first time that had happened in at least five years.
“It was a complete game,” he said. “We made tons of substitutions and we didn’t drop off. Erwin is down, but we were able to do some things and get the first shutout of the season.”
The Mustangs (3-0) dominated shots 25-3. Carson Seagraves and Nathan Porter divided time at goalkeeper. Seagraves had the only save.
Armando Llamas made six saves for the Warriors.
“We had a decent shot to goal ratio,” Brown said. “We still missed some opportunities, but that’s part of the ebbs and flows in soccer.”
Ben Mathews scored the first goal on a free kick from 20 yards out in the eighth minute.
Erick Flores had the next two goals for a 3-0 lead. Mathews had an assist on Erick Flores’ goal in the 20th minute.
“Ben was able to get free on the left inside the box and played it across to Erick in front of the net,” Brown said.
Mitchell Russotti provided the assist two minutes later.
“It was a similar play,” the coach said. “Mitchell played the ball to Erick, who made a couple of touches and pushed it past the keeper.”
The halftime margin was 4-0 after Josh Handy scored in the 26th minute. Seagraves and Camden Myers were both credited with assists. Seagraves made a long punt and Myers flicked it with his head to Handy.
“Josh outran the entire Erwin back line and scored,” Brown said.
Jose Ramos’ goal, off an assist from Flores, made it 5-0 in the 56th minute.
“Erick played a nice ball across the goal box,” Brown said. “Jose was there to clean it up and finish.”
The lead reached 6-0 in the 60th minute when Billy Ramirez scored with an assist from Mauricio Hernandez.
“Mauricio played it to Billy in the box, and he scored from about 12 yards out,” Brown said.
A foul in the box in the 69th minute led to a penalty kick by Silas McPherson for a 7-0 advantage.
Tucker Watterson scored a minute later with McPherson providing the assist.
“Silas played the ball across the 18, and Tucker hit a line drive on a rope,” Brown said.
The goal that ended the game came in the 75th minute as Cesar Garcia scored with an assist from Watterson.
“Tucker played a long ball in from our defensive third,” Brown said. “Cesar was able to control it and push it past the keeper from 8 yards with a breakaway goal.”