Warriors net mercy-rule win

Published 12:32am Sunday, March 30, 2014

Nansemond River High School boys’ soccer coach Dustin Tordoff never thought his team played its best on Friday night, but its performance was strong enough to invoke the mercy rule against a struggling Lakeland High School squad.

The host Warriors cut the windy, rain-soaked contest short by about 16 minutes when sophomore Axel Lopez scored to make the final score 8-0.

“We played good enough to win, but we played similar to way the weather was,” Tordoff said. “We were kind of sloppy, a little — sluggish is probably a good word. It took us a few minutes to get into the game, and even when the game ended, I still don’t feel like we actually peaked.”

Cavaliers coach Nizar Arfaoui was not discouraged by his team’s play, noting they pressed on in lousy weather conditions against a good team.

“It’s not a bad performance,” he said. “They’ve done what they could.”

Arfaoui said Nansemond River has improved.

“I’m very impressed. I think the team is better than last year’s team,” he said. “They’re more synchronized than us.”

Warriors senior team captain Gabe Everette scored three goals in the first half.

“He could have had a career night, but he was trying to set other people up and distribute the ball,” Tordoff said, as Everette ended up with two assists, as well.

Lopez also ended up with a hat trick to go with an assist. One of his goals came in the first half off a corner kick. With a nice spin and some wind, he was the one to make the corner kick and watch it sail into the goal untouched.

It was a long game for Cavaliers junior goalkeeper Travis Jones, better known as a wrestler, who was filling in for injured star, junior Kenyon Strickland.

Two Warriors achieved important milestones, scoring their first varsity goals: freshman Sasha Karlov and sophomore Ty Williams.

After a couple of early goals, Tordoff opted to simply keep senior team captain Chad Kozoyed out of the game, after he did not start due to some minor injuries.

The coach also limited the minutes of sophomore Brayan Morales, who was not feeling well, though he still managed to get an assist.

On Tuesday, Nansemond River (2-2, 1-0) will host Oscar Smith High School, and Lakeland (0-4, 0-1) will host King’s Fork High School.

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