England, Turner lead offensive charge –
Story and photos by Mark Carpenter –
The Southern Hills Athletic Conference opener for coach Isaac Wooten and his North Adams Green Devils varsity boys soccer squad turned out to be much easier than anticipated as a flurry of first-half goals gave them an insurmountable lead and they coasted to a 7-1 victory over the visiting Eastern Brown Warriors on Aug. 24, improving their record to 2-0 for the season.
The victorious Devils were paced by a trio of seniors, beginning with Patrick England, who followed up a hat-trick in a season-opening win over Portsmouth Clay with four goals in the win over Eastern, Kain Turner, who scored two goals in less than a minute, and Zeke Acosta, who tallied the sixth goal of the win.
North Adams took the lead less than seven minutes in on England’s first goal of the game, then followed that up by finding the back of the net three times in a span of two minutes to take a 4-0 advantage. The first of those goals came at the 25:22 mark and was awarded to England after the game by Coach Wooten and came when England headed a corner kick by Ben Figgins into the net, though it may have been redirected just a bit by an Eastern defender.
Just over a minute later, another perfectly placed corner kick by Figgins found the head of Turner and then the net to give North Adams a 3-0 lead. Then, just 45 seconds later, Turner scored again and the Devils were sitting pretty with a 4-0 lead. The visiting Warriors finally got on the board with 15:51 left in the first half as the corner kicks to headers to goal trend continued, this one awarded to Eastern’s Brandon Tomlin.
After the Tomlin score, the rest of the half was scoreless as the North Adams offense, that had been so potent just minutes before, went into a funk, but luckily the Devils’ defense remained strong and kep the Warriors from cutting into the lead any further.
“We got comfortable with a four goal lead and laid off a little bit,” said Coach Wooten after the game. “We leave a guy open on a mark, they get a goal, and things aren’t looking as good. Then you start worrying, but we did get our composure back and stopped just knocking the ball around.”
“I think we will be able to do this all season long.”
When asked about the performance of the senior England, Coach Wooten commented, “He just knows what to do and be in the right place at the right time. It’s not luck. I think he has played long enough that he is willing to step back and let the defense make a mistake and then capitalize on it.”
“That is our plan, to get the ball to the end line and then bring it back and just be in the right place,” said England after his quarter of scores.
The Devils had some early chances in the second half to pad their lead but a point blank shot by Figgins went right into the Eastern goalie’s arms and a perfect crossing pass from Austin Lloyd went to Turner, whose try for a hat trick went soaring over the net. Another clean look from about 30 yards out by Tyler Horsley also went high.
North Adams did find the net again at the 19:21 mark of the second half as a scrum in front of the goal resulted in another score for England. Ten minutes later, Acosta got in on the senior scoring act and with 4:42 to go, the final goal for the Devils came on a nice scissors kick in front by England, making it 7-1. Late in the game, the Devils almost made it eight when a blast from midfield off the foot of senior Lee Hesler almost made it over the outstretched hands of the Eastern goalkeeper.
Now 2-0 on the year, the Devils will be back in non-conference action on Saturday, Aug. 27 when they host Fairland and then on Friday, Sept. 2 they will host last year’s SHAC gold ball winners in what will be a match up of the league’s top two boys teams as the Lynchburg Clay Mustangs come to town.