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Men’s Soccer: East Bladen 5, Union 1

ROSE HILL – Sophmore Greyson Heustess fired in 2 goals and dished out 2 assists to lead East Bladen to a 5-1 Four County Conference men’s soccer victory over Union Wednesday night.

The game was stopped in the 48th minute due to lightning. “The coaches and refs decided it was in the best interest of the kids and spectators to abandon the game and make it final,” said Eagle Coach Jay Raynor. The game was declared final since they had started the second half.

In the fifth minute of the game, sophmore Pierce Melvin pounced on a loose ball in the box and booted a left-footed shot past the keeper for a 1-0 East Bladen lead.

Two minutes later Heustess jumped a pass and found junior Brooks McGill streaking to the goal. McGill finished the play by banging in the shot from 9 yards out for a 2-0 Eagle lead.

In the ninth minute, freshman Jake Evans made a couple of cuts and drilled a shot that looked like a goal, before a defender closed in to block it, but Heustess jumped on the ball and put it in the goal for a 3-0 lead.

“We lost a little bit after that goal,” said Raynor. “The passes weren’t crisp and there wasn’t much movement. Union amped up their play and gained some momentum.”

After the Spartans scored to trim the margin to 3-1, Melvin sent a pass into Heustess who cut to the goal from the right flank. Heustess delivered a pass to freshman Milton Estrada who knocked in the goal from 9 yards out for a 4-1 lead.

“It was good to see Milton get that goal,” said Coach Raynor. “He has been working hard and staying after practice to make himself better. He has played some quality minutes for us. His birthday was Tuesday and we are all happy for him.”

The score was 4-1 at halftime. In the 48th minute, goalie Spencer Scott made a save and sent a long punt up to Heustess who beat the centerback and dribbled the Spartan keeper to score the goal that made it 5-1.

“It was a heads-up play by Greyson,” said Raynor. “He is one of our workhorses and has been a physical force for us. I was proud of his hustle tonight.”

Lightning was spotted after the goal and the game was halted at that point.

“I am glad we got a result,” said Coach Raynor. “We ran into a buzz saw on Monday (a 9-0 loss at Wallace) and I wasn’t sure how we would respond or play tonight. It wasn’t our best but we did get the job done.”

“I feel like we settle and don’t come out pushing to be the best team and play the best way we can,” continued Raynor “That’s a dangerous mentality that will get you beat. It’s not about being young or lack of experience. It’s about having heart and busting our butts for each other.”

“We picked it up after half and all in all, the game went well for us,” added Coach Raynor. “We were able to get some guys some time that they usually don’t and they contributed. Milton came in and made an impact and so did Reid Potter.”

“Our backline were their usual selves and made some remarkable stops as well as providing some suffocating defense,” said Raynor. “We were able to send Dan (Tatum) and Gabe (Barber) out of the back and get some numbers forward. When we get those two forward, good things happen.”

“I am proud of the result,” concluded Coach Raynor. “I am glad we got ahead early. I am proud of the way we worked together. We looked good for some moments and we will start turning those moments into games. We have to prolong our level of play and I know we will.”

The Eagles improved to 4-2 in league play and 8-3-1 overall. East Bladen will travel to rival West Bladen Monday at 6 p.m.

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