SD’s Hernandez steals the show

Published 10:19 am Thursday, October 20, 2016

The South Davie boys soccer team’s top player, Danny Torres, was injured and had to sit out the last 15 minutes against host North Davie.

No problem. Fredy Hernandez took over and allowed the Tigers to pull away to a 7-3 victory. The first half of the game was played Sept. 26. It was stopped by lightning with 10 seconds left in the half, and it was completed Oct. 10.

The first half was a seesaw affair. The teams traded goals, with the scoring coming from South’s Torres, North’s Blake Little (with an assist from James Wilkins), South’s Ayden Horne, North’s Wilkins and South’s Torres (with an assist from Horne). The latter gave South a 3-2 lead going into halftime.

When play resumed 14 days later, Wilkins, who owned seven of North’s nine goals at that point, tied the score at 3 at 41 minutes. With 15 minutes remaining, Torres fed Jackson Lawrence for a goal that put South ahead to stay.

Hernandez had only managed two goals in the first seven games, but that didn’t keep him from completely taking over down the stretch. He scored the game’s final three goals, with two assists from Jonathan Argueta.

“Danny got cleated in the back of the leg, and we had to play without him the last 15 minutes,” South coach Russell Hilton said. “Fredy had to step up and take his spot.”

“They just had a flurry at the end,” North coach Martin Gant said. “We just kinda collapsed.”

The Ellis boys got pounded, 9-1, at Lexington on Oct. 11. After Lexington scored the first seven goals, Frank Hale put the Jaguars (0-6-1) on the board.

South’s Hernandez continued his magic in a rematch with North on Oct. 11 at South. He scored both goals in a 2-0 win for the Tigers (4-5). He was assisted by Horne and Brian Reyes as South pushed its dominance over North to 5-0-2 in the last seven meetings.

“Fredy wasn’t playing much at the beginning, but as the year has gone on, he has gotten better and better and he’s shooting the ball a lot more,” Hilton said. “North played smart. Danny is our best player, so they had two guys follow Danny around at all times. They were in his face, making it difficult on him. He was more of the set-up guy and making stuff happen. It freed up Fredy on the right side.”

Goalie Lee Hernandez had the shutout for South. North fell to 1-5. For the season, South’s top three scorers are Torres (14 goals), F. Hernandez (seven) and Horne (four).

Wilkins and Little enjoyed record-setting days as North scored the most goals in 36 games against visiting Summit on Oct. 13.

Wilkins had five goals and Little had five assists as the Wildcats rolled to an 8-2 blowout. It was the most goals since an 8-0 win over South in 2013.

“We did great,” Gant said. “We were able to bounce back from that close loss to South. We had a lot of great passing and good teamwork that we’ve been working on all year. Every goal had an assist.”

Wilkins tied the record for goals in a game. Amber Strader (2015) and Brooke Hedgspeth (2011) also had five for the North girls in recent years. Little’s five assists set a new mark.

Little had two goals and Benardo Rodriguez one. Gray Thurlo had two assists, while Wilkins had one. Wilkins has 12 goals in seven games for North (2-5).

South’s girls put an end to a long losing streak and avenged an earlier loss in the process, winning 2-0 at North on Oct. 10.

In September, North beat South 2-1 behind Christine Cao’s two goals.

After a scoreless first half, the Tigers (1-5) got goals from Briseida Olea and Katie Shupe and earned their first win since a forfeit from Lexington in the spring of 2014. South had been in an 0-24-3 tailspin. It was the first on-the-field win since 2-1 over Lexington in the spring of 2014.

The Tigers also stopped an 0-6-2 dry spell against North. It was their first win in the series since a 3-0 decision in the spring of 2013, when Elaina Burr had two goals and Madison Riddle one. North slipped to 1-6.

“We’ve been on the brink of breaking through for a few games now, and today we turned the corner and came alive,” coach Morgan Wyatt said.