PEMBROKE – Rain may not stop the postal service from delivering the mail. It also didn’t stop the West Bladen soccer team from scoring goals.
The Knights scored twice in a downpour in the opening four minutes Monday en route to a 5-2 win over the Purnell Swett Rams. It was West Bladen’s second win against Purnell Swett this season.
“We put up those goals quickly and it opened the game up for us,” said second-year West Bladen coach Brennan Brown, whose team already has matched last season’s win total. “We played very well in the first half. In the second half, we tried some different people at different positions, but our intensity let down. We can’t let that happen against some of the better teams in our conference.”
Anthony Sebastian made seven saves, including a spectacular diving stop of a Swett shot from less than 10 yards out in the closing minutes.
Jorchael Gonzalez had two goals and an assist while Christian Diego added a goal and an assist for West Bladen. Seth Britt also scored off a pass from Ray Jones. The Knights final goal came in the 34th minute when a Purnell Swett player inadvertently had the ball go off his foot and into his own net. Purnell Swett scored a goal in each half.
Diego scored West Bladen’s first goal in the first minute and Gonzalez followed with his first goal about two minutes later.
West Bladen improved to 2-0-1 while Purnell Swett is 0-3. The Knights are scheduled to host St. Pauls on Tuesday at 5 p.m. West Bladen and St. Pauls played to a 1-1 tie a week ago in a game that was halted midway the second half because of lightning.
The Knights’ start to the season is quite a contrast from recent seasons. The program had a 9-49 record the past three seasons and finished last in its conference each season.
“The guys are playing together much better,” Brown said. “They’re willing to pass the ball and play as a team.”
West Bladen 5, Purnell Swett 2
West Bladen 5 – 0 — 5
Purnell Swett 1 – 1 — 2
Goals: West Bladen – Jorchael Gonzalez 2, Seth Britt, Christian Diego, Swett own goal; Purnell Swett – Chavon Lowry, Dawson Brooks.
Assists: West Bladen – Jorchael Gonzalez, Christian Diego, Ray Jones.
Records: West Bladen 2-0-1, Purnell Swett 0-3.
WB – Christian Diego (Jorchael Gonzalez), 1st minute
WB – Jorchael Gonzales (Christian Diego), 4th minute
WB – Seth Britt (Ray Jones), 14th minute
PS – Dawson Brooks, 21st minute
WB – Jorchael Gonzales, 23rd minute
WB – Purnell Swett own goal, 34th minute
PS – Chavon Lowry, 62nd minute
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