BRISTOL—A first-half scoring blitz by a senior-laden Tennessee High squad set the tone for a rout at Stone Castle on Tuesday evening as the Vikings defeated Elizabethton 9-1 in boys soccer.
Senior striker Thomas Valente set the pace for the Vikings (1-0) with a three-goal hat trick while teammate Nathan Terrill had a pair of tallies.
“We played well tonight,” said THS head coach Evandro Valente. “We really possessed the ball and that is when the game is fun. When you possess, switch point of attack. And we really cut down on our mistakes. The team has really played hard in practice and it’s a good start to the season.”
Senior Drake Marden got the Vikings off to a flying start with a goal in the seventh minute. Cyclone goalkeeper Jerry Ludrowski was under fire from the get go and managed to turn away two solid scoring chances by Tennessee High before Valente scored his first in the 16th minute, giving the Vikings a 2-nil lead.
In the 27th minute, the Cyclones were penalized in the box, providing THS a penalty kick which Terrill capitalized on to make it a 3-nil Vikings lead.
“They were on top of us psychologically from very early on,” said Cyclones head coach Bill McClay. “We gave up an early goal, then two. We regrouped in the second half and held them back for a while, I think we held them until halfway through the second half before they got another one. They are just a really good team.”
The Cyclones fell behind by 5-nil at the break and were looking for a spark of any kind to get the offense rolling, but the Vikings’ mix of size, athleticism, speed and experience were all factors for which EHS couldn’t find answers.
In the second half, the Vikings added to their big advantage as Nick Keen put one into the EHS net to make it a 6-goal lead before the Cyclones got on the board.
Senior Rafael Teixeira put a penalty kick past THS goalkeeper Mason Borsch in the 60th minute for the only tally of the match for ’Betsy.
“I have a big team,” said Valente. “But even my son Thomas, when he first started to play he was always the smallest guy. Now when we have set plays like corner kicks, I want the big guys to take them. We were able to take the match from them physically. It’s still early in the season, but it’s good to get off to a good start. We have a big match coming up on Thursday with Maryville.”
Valente completed his hat trick in the 63rd minute with a direct kick from 25 yards out that floated over the outstretched hand of Ludrowski — and the Vikings tacked on a few late scores on rebounds of shot attempts to complete the scoring.
“There will probably be an occasion this season where we do that and have that kind of game against someone else,” said McClay. “Tonight, we played a very good team and that’s how this game goes sometimes.”
Tennessee High 9, Elizabethton 1
Elizabethton 0 1 — 1
Tennessee High 5 4 — 9
THS—Marden (unassisted), 7:00
THS—Valente (assist Sigmon), 16:00
THS—Terrill (Penalty kick), 27:00
THS—Terrill (assist Marden), 30:00
THS—Valente (unassisted), 35:00
THS—Rosales (unassisted), 59:00
EHS—Teixeira (Penalty kick), 60:00
THS—Valente (unassisted), 63:00
THS—Moreland (assist Graham), 76:00