Cyclones Advance Past Grainger County in Region Soccer Play
By ALLEN LAMOUNTAIN
From Staff Reports
Like an old diesel truck in winter, Elizabethton took a little bit to get warmed up in the opening of the Region 1-2 AA soccer tournament on Tuesday.
With a jump start from senior Raphael Teixeira the Cyclones got their offense rolling and took a 6-1 win over Grainger County at Brown-Childress Stadium to advance to the second round.
"For whatever reason it took us about 20-minutes or so to get our feet under us," said Cyclones head coach Bill McClay. "They played a pretty high line, which compressed the field and I think we tried to make our passes a little too precise. We then made some good passes behind them, but it took us awhile to get that organized."
Teixeira scored a hat trick - as he also did against the Grizzlies in the regular season - as EHS took a 3-nil lead at halftime and were not threatened in the second half.
Teixeira took possession on the far sideline and bolted past the first pair of Grainger defenders on his route to the goal. He then made a dribble move past the back line defender and his shot beat Grainger goalkeeper Justin Mullins to his right.
Nathan LaPorte's goal just four minutes later gave the Cyclones a 2-0 advantage and was made possible by a nice assist from Jordan Adams.
Mullins misplayed a shot by Teixeira when he didn't get the rebound and Adams was first to the loose ball and he sent wide to LaPorte who sent a high floater over Mullins' head.
"We created some goals in different ways and that was good," McClay said. "When you start making plays like that, it means everyone is on the same page, and that's what they have to see."
Adams scored a goal of his own at the 32-minute mark when he headed in the rebound of a shot by Teixeira to give Betsy a 3-0 lead at the break.
Grainger County did a nice job in the early going of stifling the EHS offense and had three decent shots on goal in the first half. EHS back-line defender Bobby Holt saved one goal when he cleared out a rebound of a shot by the Grizzlies Zack Ballard.
Early in the second half, Teixeira broke loose in the middle and was the recipient of a nice pass over the top of the Grainger defense by Ashton Stevens and Teixeira split the two Grizzlies defenders and beat Mullins easily.
Stevens also assisted on the next Cyclone goal -- this by Darion Simerly -- who knocked in a shot off a corner kick by Stevens. Simerly's tally made it a five-goal EHS lead and left the Cyclones just 23-minutes from a shutout and a match next Tuesday with University High.
Ballard ruined the shutout bid with a free kick just outside the goal box that beat EHS keeper Jerry Ludrosky in the top shelf.
"We played our hearts out but came up a little short," said Grainger County head coach Tonya Wear. "I have a really young team that I think will only get better. Sometimes you can be a winner by just giving it your best and in that regard they are winners."
Teixeira's final goal came in the 68th minute and was another rebound of a stopped shot that Mullins let slip away. Devin Clark's blast was knocked away by Mullins, but Teixeira was right there for an easy put in.
The Cyclones will next face University High at Civitan Park in Johnson City next Tuesday with game time likely at 6 p.m.