CERRO GORDO – Junior Mya McDonald recorded a ‘Hat Trick’ of 4 goals, and senior Katie Evans delivered a ‘Hat Trick’ of 4 assists and also tallied 2 goals as East Bladen rolled to a 10-1 non-conference girls’ soccer victory over West Columbus.
McDonald turned a feed from Katie Evans into the game’s 1st goal in the 6th minute. A minute later McDonald fired in an unassisted goal for a quick 2-0 East Bladen lead. The Katie Evans to McDonald combination clicked again in the 8th minute with McDonald knocking in her 3rd goal.
McDonald broke free again and drilled in her 4th goal in the 10th minute. “We played 10 on 10 today,” said Eagle Coach Jay Raynor. “They had a few girls sick and another who didn’t show prior to the game. We decided to play 10 on 10 so the girls could all play.”
“With playing 10 girls we took a forward off the field and left everything else the same,” continued Raynor. “Gave us some space up top on a tight field. Maya was able to find the space and make some runs to goal. Probably the most goals I have seen a single player score in such a short time frame. We pulled her in the tenth minute after her fourth goal and made some major adjustments at that point.”
With McDonald resting Katie Evans immediately sent a corner kick to her sister, freshman Molly Evans, who found the back of the net with a header and pushed the lead to 5-0. Four minutes later Katie Evans delivered a pass to senior Josephina Torres who banged in the goal.
“Molly Evans had an amazing game tonight,” noted Raynor. “She is going to be a player. She started in the back but played on every line for us. She was dangerous coming out of midfield. She also scored a perfect header on a corner kick. That’s something you don’t see a lot of in our game. Clinical finish.”
Katie Evans blasted in a 25-yard free kick in the 19th minute. Two minutes later Molly Evans returned the favor to her sister with an assist that led to Katie’s 2nd goal that stretched the lead to 8-0.
“Katie had an amazing game in midfield and seemed to win every 50/50 ball that came her way,” noted Raynor. “She organized our attacks and moved the ball well for us.
Raynor continued, “The seniors did a phenomenal job of being great teammates tonight. I believe Katie and Sara (Gargala) played the most of our seniors with both playing around 20 minutes. Maya, Kenia (Medina), and Joesphina had around 10 minutes each maybe. They were encouraging and cheering on the underclassmen. They were instructing them from bench and cheering them on when they made a play.”
Medina cracked the scoring column with an unassisted goal in the 24th minute. The margin was 9-1 at halftime after an ‘own goal’ found the East Bladen net. The Eagles outshot the Vikings 17-0 in the first half and 22-1 for the game.
“The girls played hard and showed improvement from our last game,” noted Raynor. “ We were able to work on some things in training yesterday and they presented themselves in the game today. We did a much better job of clearing dangerous balls that came our way especially those balls that were hit in the vicinity of our holding mids and backs.”
Raynor praised his younger players, “We got a lot of minutes for our underclassmen today. Lots of minutes and experience for them. They all showed growth tonight. The energy was high and they wanted to see their teammates be successful. Proud of everyone.”
Sophomore Cydney Campbell closed out the Lady Eagle scoring with a goal in the 53rd minute off of an assist from freshman Reese Hester.
“Once we made some substitutions we were able to get Cydney back to what I feel is her natural position, right mid,” said Raynor. “We have moved her to the backline due to her understanding of the game and her ability to defend. She’s great defending especially in 1 v 1 situations. She has made a sacrifice for the team and is playing well for us in the back. Getting her into the midfield is where she needs to be. She made play after play for us in the flanks and she was relentless when she was attacking.”
Raynor continued, “Zoe Smith is getting better every time out. She’s gaining a better understanding of the game and her position. She’s tough and doesn’t mind winning 50/50 balls in the air or on the ground. We played her up top some and she had some runs at goal.
“Acee (Campbell) also did well for us in midfield on the left side,” added Raynor. “As the game went on she seemed to get more comfortable with her role. She had some great opportunities on goal tonight. She’s another one who is tough and gives you everything she has when she plays.”
“Merritt Martin was excellent in the back,” said Raynor. “We made a lot of changes and put her with some of our younger players but she did an excellent job being a leader and keeping our backs organized. Emma McDuffie and McKenzie Storms played a lot of minutes with Merritt in the back. Those three worked well together and it was good to get them all a lot of minutes together.”
Raynor remarked, “It was a fun game for the girls. Not because of the amount of goals that were scored but to see them be successful. I felt they gained confidence as the game went on. We were able to get everyone a lot of minutes and be good sports as well.”
The East Coach also pointed out, “West Columbus is a young program and they fought hard the duration of the match. The goal was to get better today and I thought we did that. I felt like we did it the right way as well. I have a lot of respect for Trey (Nye) and what he is doing with both the men’s and women’s programs over there. He had them organized and playing soccer tonight. They had some chances that we got lucky on.”
Raynor concluded, “We are getting better but our youth in the back shows itself from time to time. We will clean those things up in the coming weeks as experience is just about the only way you fix those things. To improve you have make mistakes so you can learn from them and fix it. The mistakes we are making, like tonight are hustle plays. Being hesitant is the common cause that has led to goals being scored. Being more confident and communicating are ways to fix them. Those are two things that can happen I feel fairly easy.”
East Bladen, now 3-0, will host Whiteville Monday at 5:30.