WHITEVILLE – Sophomore Tevin McClean lit up the scoreboard with a ‘Hat Trick’ plus one of 4 goals and led East Bladen to a 5-1 Waccamaw Conference boys’ soccer victory over Whiteville Monday night.
“Tevin had a career night tonight,” said Eagle Coach Jay Raynor. “He played 70-plus minutes and never stopped. He left a few goals out there, but he also scored some amazing goals.
The McClean scoring parade began in the 4th minute when he capitalized on a feed from senior Jamie Delgado to put East up 1-0. Twelve minutes later, McClean raced to the nets and rang up his 2nd goal of the game.
“We were able to get started fast and that helped,” noted Raynor.
In the 30th minute, McClean capitalized on another Delgado assist to knock in another goal for a 3-0 East lead.
“Jamie had a great night and controlled the game for us in midfield from a different position,” explained Raynor. “Jamie is a catalyst for our attack and did a phenomenal job for us tonight. We were without a few players due to sickness and Jamie had to play a different role and position for us tonight.”
East Bladen outshot the Wolfpack 15-3 in the opening half and 25-7 for the game, but Whiteville did manage to score a 1st half goal.
“We have to do better at sticking to our system and doing our jobs,” said Raynor. “It felt that we started stepping higher and higher when we started getting looks on goal. We can’t do that. We can’t let up. The goal we gave up was unnecessary and should’ve been dealt with better.”
Eight minutes after halftime, McClean banged in another unassisted goal to pad the Eagle lead to 4-1. Two minutes later junior Chace Butler turned an assist from junior Colin King into another Eagle goal and a 5-1 lead.
“Colin had his best game of the season tonight,” stated Raynor. “Colin made some great decisions on and off the ball. He put himself in great positions to help us defend as well as attack. He got up the line and provided a great ball for Chace to run onto for his goal.”
Raynor added, “Chace and Gabril (Algozy) complimented Tevin up top and helped us generate some dangerous runs on goal. Connor (Paddrick) gave us some great minutes tonight. He did what we needed and asked him to do.”
“Jayce (Hatcher) had to slide into a different position and was dominant all night,” said Raynor. “Debo was out sick, and Jayce stepped up to play his position. Jayce kept us organized in the back and stopped a majority of the Whiteville attacks.”
“Zac (Metz) had another dominant performance at left back for us tonight,” continued Raynor. “JD (McArthur) and Ronnie (Covington) brought a ton of energy and hustle into the midfield for us.”
Raynor added, “Our keepers were on point tonight as well. They were great communicators in the back. With having to move some players around, their communication was needed. They weren’t forced to make many difficult saves, but they came up with the routine saves that we needed them too.
“It was great to see us put some goals in the back of the net,” concluded Raynor. “Whiteville gave us a physical and intense game for 80 minutes. I thought we played for about 60-65 of those minutes. Whiteville had some time that they took it to us. Proud of the result and the growth we are showing from game to game.”
The Eagles improved to 4-1 in Waccamaw play and 7-4 overall. East Bladen will travel to Hobbton for a non-conference game Thursday.