Spring Creek rises
By Ryan Hanchett
Published in Sports on August 26, 2008 12:47 PM
DUDLEY - Spring Creek head coach Johnny Galarza had never led a soccer team on to the field prior to Monday's matchup against Southern Wayne at the Doyle Whitfield Athletic Complex.
In fact he hadn't even led a team in practice.
The lack of field-time certainly did not show as the Gators bested the Saints 8-3 behind a wild offensive outburst.
"I am still learning the game, still figuring things out," Galarza said. "We had some workouts recently to work on speed and conditioning, but that was two kids one day, and three kids the next, so this is the first time we have all been on the field together.
"Luckily, I have my three captains that are returning players from last year, and they know how to run things during the game."
The contest started with Spring Creek seizing an early lead, before being quickly answered by a Saint marker from Jesus Rodriguez.
Gator forward Ricardo Rangle gave his team their second lead in the 25th minute, when he deposited a loose ball in the back of the net. The goal was the first of four, for the talented striker.
Rodriguez tied the game for the Saints four minutes later when he collected a pass from Carlos Zometa and zipped it into the goal.
"I told my guys that during those first 20 minutes, when we tied the game at 2-2, we were playing pretty good ball," Saint head coach Scott Underhill said. "We are really young, and this first game was a learning experience."
In the 19th minute of the first half the Gators took the lead for good as Rangle collected a loose ball in front of the net and booted it past the Southern Wayne keeper who had lost his footing on the play.
"He has a lot of talent, and he led the attack tonight," Galarza said of Rangle. "This was essentially our first day of practice with everyone on the field, so I didn't know what to expect, but the guys worked really well together on offense."
Ahead 4-2 at the half, the Gators kept the pressure on the Saint defense.
Rangle collected his third goal less than two minutes into the half, and watched as his teammates strung together two additional unanswered markers.
Southern Wayne attempted a furious comeback midway through the second half when Miguel Torrez made a run into the offensive zone and fired a shot.
The goal made the score 7-3, but that is as close as the Saints would get.
"We have to learn from this, and keep our heads up," Underhill said. "There is a lot of season to go, and I told the guys that they would get a dose of reality tonight, and they did.
"When we get into out conference games the teams like Eastern Wayne and Beddingfield are going to be fast and physical, so we need to be ready for that."
On the other sideline, Galarza was particularly happy with his team's communication skills.
"I was given this coaching job because I had experience as a head coach, and because I speak Spanish, which is a big help in with this group," Galarza said. "This group of players has a lot of potential so as we come together I think we will only get better."
The Gators (1-0 overall) will take on Greene Central next Monday. The Saints (0-1 overall) travel to James Kenan on Wednesday.
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