FLEMING ISLAND - As Fleming Island prepared to take on the perennial powerhouse Fetcher Senators in the first division matchup of the 2022-23 season, pregame; Golden Eagles Head Soccer Coach Michael …
FLEMING ISLAND - As Fleming Island prepared to take on the perennial powerhouse Fetcher Senators in the first division matchup of the 2022-23 season, pregame; Golden Eagles Head Soccer Coach Michael Green said “Our defense is looking better than the last few years. We are getting things sorted out with Cade Dailey as our Sweeper, doing a good job getting things sorted out, commanding marks, and getting everyone situated. Because- it is a different game playing a stopper sweeper.”
Green had no idea how prophetic his statement would turn out to be as the Golden Eagles held the Senators to a single shot on goal off of a direct kick defended perfectly, and racked up six unanswered goals before the half on their way to an 8-0 mercy rule which ended the game with 27 minutes remaining on the clock.
“This was a different Fletcher team than we are used to,” said Green, referring to Fletcher’s rebuild and lack of depth on the bench with only three subs available. “Our kids showed up, never quit, and kept the intensity up. It was an- everybody gets in- kind of game. Ultimately, I’m very happy with the result.”
After four minutes of feeling one another out, Fleming Island organized the first attack at midfield when a streaking Taylor Suarez had a long pass dropped in and he took control, heading straight for the net and eyed his shot. Suarez launched a cannon to the keeper’s right and put the first of his three points on the board at 35:50 in the first half. Suarez would rack up a hat trick all in the first half of play.
After Suarez’ ice breaker, William Kennedy followed only :25 seconds later as he had a breakaway and found himself all alone with the keeper. Kennedy handled the ball and drew the Keeper out, then just used a gentle tap to roll the ball right by the Keeper’s right side, 2-0 with 35:25 still to play in the first half. About three minutes later, Nathan Ernst noticed the Keeper coming out way too soon to defend. Once he had the ball just inside the mid-field line, from outside the box, he launched a high shot that sailed right over the keeper’s head and hands to put the score at 3-0. Arthur Zanoelo followed at 12:41 to bring the score to 4-0.
“The best part of our goal scoring is we have a number of games where it is three and four different players scoring,” said Green.
The first half scoring was closed out with another pair of goals from Suarez, one at 12:41, and his hat trick goal at 10:06.
The second half lasted all of 13:00 as Mathew Male said enough with the others on the team having all the fun and took matters into his own hands. At 32:29, Fleming Island had a direct kick and set up a crossing maneuver. William Kennedy made the initial charge at the ball and jumped as Male drew back and fired a boomer that beat the Senator’s Keeper to get ahead 7-0. Male closed the game down at 27:00 as the Golden Eagles had a melee in front of the Fletcher goal, controlled the ball and beat the Senator’s keeper one last time for the 8-0 final.
“Our defense was so intense that Fletcher never had a chance to organize,” said Green. “Defense wins. That is the focus of this season, team defense. That means everyone back, everyone is communicating, and everyone gets a mark. No one is playing zone. We have a little speed and we’re a little bigger this year than we used to be, so I am hoping to make a run at it.”