South soccer beats Ellis
Published 4:34 am Wednesday, September 28, 2022
By Brian Pitts
After enduring a brutal stretch to start the season, the South Davie soccer team got a much-needed win, 2-0, at Ellis on Sept. 19. The Tigers (1-3) were outscored 17-1 by NCLA, Wesleyan and North Davie.
“You can slowly see us getting better each game,” coach Russell Hilton said. “We’ve got pretty much a whole new team this year, but they’ve been working hard and you can see their hard work starting to pay off. The three teams (that beat South) are probably the best three teams in the conference. I mean, North Davie is the team to beat by far. Wesleyan is right there with them and NCLA is pretty good, too.”
South got both goals in the first half, starting with Hamza Heikal, who scored in spectacular fashion.
“He scored 40 yards away on a free kick,” Hilton said. “He’s got a big foot. It was in the top corner over the keeper’s head. No goalie was saving that. He was just trying to kick it as far as he could, and usually it’s not going to go that far. He’s looking for somebody else in the box to try to head it or deflect it in. But he just drained it. It looked like Steph Curry out there from midfield.”
The breathing-room goal was supplied by David Hernandez Moreno.
“Andy Dejesus Longares was one-on-one with the keeper,” Hilton said. “He shot it, but it went too high and it deflected off the crossbar. David was there to chest it in.”
Hilton has defenders (Heikal, Jose Roque-Ibarra, Jean Anguiano Avila, Javier Miranda Barrera and Anderson Branham) who are constant difference-makers.
“They are fast and they limited (Ellis’) chances,” he said. “Yeah, we’ve given up some goals this year, but without those guys, it would be a lot more.”
Hilton loves his goalie, seventh grader William Martin, and Branham is a Swiss Army knife as a sixth grader.
“We’ve got a really good goalie,” he said. “Anderson has been playing with the Fusion. That kid can play anywhere. He plays defense, too, when we run five defenders. He plays offense, he plays mid, he’s our backup goalie.”
After beating Ellis, the Tigers (1-5) suffered two hard-fought losses. They fell short 2-1 at home to Forbush on Sept. 20, and they couldn’t find any offense in a 2-0 decision at Summit on Sept. 22.
Roque-Ibarra did provide a highlight-reel goal against Forbush that tied the game at 1-1. “He made it from about 45 yards out,” Hilton said. “It was another amazing shot.”
Ellis 2, Phoenix 1
Ellis picked up a nice win at Phoenix Academy on Sept. 20. Santiago Maganda and Osiel Romero scored in the first half and the Jaguars held on to even their record at 2-2.
“We are looking for ways to effectively and efficiently get the ball to them more often,” coach Susan Jones said. “That is something we are continuing to work on as we move to our next games.”
Playing big parts in the win were goalie Nathan Harding (eight saves), Mason Norman, Brandon Martinez, Austin Eggers and Seager Brooks.
“Mason had a save while playing left defensive back,” Jones said. “He was in the right spot at the right time to prevent the ball from sneaking in while there were bodies all around the goal.
“There wasn’t one person who didn’t have a hand in some of our defensive stops. Brandon continued to be a force at sweeper, and Austin and Seager always seemed to be in the mix defensively.”
North Davie’s volleyball team won 2-1 at Millennium Charter and 2-0 at home over High Point Christian. A three-match winning streak has lifted the Wildcats to 4-4.
South Davie won in two sets at Summit, giving the Tigers a 5-2 record.
But the hottest team in the county is Ellis. Melanie Watson, Breanna Tolar, Ella Shea, Allie Miller and Quinn Cornatzer were the key servers in a 25-17, 25-10 win at Phoenix Academy.
In the first match of a home doubleheader against North Carolina Leadership Academy, Miller, Shea, Avery Mallory, Cornatzer and Tolar were the top servers in 25-18, 25-10 victory.
In the second match against NCLA, the Jaguars got effective serving from Shea and Watson, while Miller, Kate Nicholson and Riley Barnes were standouts as Ellis (6-2) rallied for a 24-26, 25-19, 15-12 win.
“Allie was a beast at the net,” coach Beth Hall-Love said after Ellis’ fourth straight win. “Kate and Riley were very strong on the front row.”