10/06/09 — Spring Creek shuts out Rosewood 6-0

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Spring Creek shuts out Rosewood 6-0

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on October 6, 2009 1:46 PM

SEVEN SPRINGS -- Defending Carolina 1-A Conference men's soccer champion Spring Creek wasted little time finding the net on a cool, rainy Monday evening.

The state-ranked Gators controlled possession from the opening whistle and relentlessly attacked Rosewood's goal. Four minutes into the league affair, Leo Ramirez's shot clanged off the crossbar, deflected off an Eagle defender and started the Gators' 6-0 romp at "The Swamp."

Spring Creek (6-2-1 overall) improved to 2-0-0 in conference play this season and extended its win streak against league opposition to nine games since 2007. Rosewood (4-7-1) endured its first defeat in three conference outings this season.

Sophomore Antonio Avila collected a hat trick (three goals) and one assist on the rain-soaked, slippery pitch. Ramirez scored twice and senior Ricardo Rangel supplied one goal.

Keeper Angel Sanchez stopped both Rosewood shots and earned his third straight shutout, and fifth overall, between the posts this season. It was the Gators' fifth shutout of the Eagles in seven conference meetings since 2006.

The Gators' back three of sophomore Edgar Rangel, senior sweeper Antonio Ponce and junior Luis Anguiano constantly intercepted balls intended for either the Eagles' Antonio Henriques or Scott Pate. Neither had an open look on the goal.

"My defense has come along and been really solid," said Gators head coach Paul Estrada. "They're fast. Ponce is quick and runs the middle really well. I wanted to see us be a little more aggressive on the 50-50 balls because their punter (keeper Will Grantham) did a great job.

"I wanted to see us take away that offensive weapon a little more."

Grantham logged a season-high 16 saves against Spring Creek, which had plenty of weapons in its arsenal.

Avila punched in the Gators' second goal off Dante Ortiz's assist in the 25th minute. The score stood until Ramirez extended the margin to 3-0 off Avila's assist less than five minutes into the second half.

"We wanted to stay on our marks defensively and we did a decent job of that in the first half," said Rosewood coach Daniel Mitchell. "We didn't do a good job in the second half and that's why they scored four goals. We knew we had to put pressure on them defensively, which we didn't do because they were able to control the ball."

Avila added his second goal in the 50th minute and completed the hat trick about 10 minutes later off Ortiz's second assist. Rangel concluded the scoring in the 76th minute.

"I really thought we were a little flat in the first half ... a little cold maybe due to the rain and weather," said Estrada. "The second half was a little opposite of the way we had played (the first half). Once we put that third goal in, I think that might have psyched them a little bit because it's easier to fight back from 2-0 down, rather than 3-0."