10/05/10 — Gators capture league win

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Gators capture league win

By Ryan Hanchett
Published in Sports on October 5, 2010 1:47 PM

Spring Creek may not look like the flashy high-scoring team that reached the Class 1-A eastern regional championship game in 2009.

But the Gators still have plenty of talent.

Spring Creek opened Carolina 1-A Conference play with a 2-0 win over Rosewood on Monday night. The Gators, the reigning league champions, controlled possession and kept the Eagles off balance throughout the contest.

"I am really pleased with the effort tonight because it wasn't a one-dimensional win," said Spring Creek head coach Paul Estrada. "I think these guys are learning to play defense, and they understand now that a 2-0 win is just as good as an 8-0 win."

Each team had one good scoring chance in the first half.

Spring Creek midfielder Arturo Sandoval fired the game's first shot inches wide of the left post in the third minute. Rosewood earned its best chance of in the 25th minute when Antonio Henriques broke free on a long run and belted a shot that escaped the grasp of the Gators' keeper, but rolled just wide of the net.

Spring Creek tightened the defense and controlled the ball throughout the second half.

In the 50th minute, the visitors finally broke the scoreless tie when Omar Zavela headed the ball past Eagles keeper Jacquez Raynor and into the back of the net.

"We were not able to get anything going on the offensive end and that allowed (Spring Creek) to take a lot of shots and keep the pressure on," said Rosewood head coach Daniel Mitchell. "Once they got one goal, it kind of took the wind out of our sails a little bit."

Spring Creek added a second goal in the 70th minute when Dante Ortiz made a long pass down the right sideline to Hector Cantera, who raced past the defense and found Sandoval with a crossing pass. Sandoval fired a laser shot just under the crossbar.

The Gators finished with a 14-3 advantage in shots on goal. Raynor finished the game with seven saves.

"We were able to win a lot of balls in the air tonight by being a good position," said Estrada. "That allowed us to hold the possession and allow our forwards to run on to the ball."

Spring Creek (3-3-1 overall, 1-0-0 CC) will host Princeton in a makeup game today at 6 p.m. and entertain Goldsboro on Wednesday.

Rosewood (4-4-0, 1-1-0) travels to Ayden-Grifton on Wednesday.