Warriors shut out KFHS

Published 10:18 pm Thursday, April 14, 2016

The Nansemond River High School boys’ soccer team was not going to let history repeat itself on Wednesday as it faced visiting King’s Fork High School.

Nansemond River High School sophomore Maycol Reyes goes on the attack against visiting King’s Fork High School on Wednesday. He contributed a goal to the Warriors’ 6-0 victory.

Nansemond River High School sophomore Maycol Reyes goes on the attack against visiting King’s Fork High School on Wednesday. He contributed a goal to the Warriors’ 6-0 victory.

The Warriors scored about a minute into the game, setting the tone for their eventual 6-0 victory.

“I was very proud of the way they played,” Nansemond River coach Dustin Tordoff said. “We didn’t have our best showing against (the Bulldogs) last year.”

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The Warriors lost 5-0 to King’s Fork during the 2015 regular season. The game turned Nansemond River’s season around that year.

The Warriors were not necessarily in need of that prompt this year, but they were nevertheless ready to write the next chapter in a cross-city rivalry with the Bulldogs.

“Regardless of how good the teams are, you know you’re going to get their best shot, and I think our kids took that a lot more to heart this year than we have in years past,” Tordoff said.

He had a clear directive for his team.

“We really need to go out and attack early and just keep the pedal down the whole time,” Tordoff said.

The Warriors executed that plan.

Junior Sterling McGee scored the first of his two goals for the game about a minute into the contest. A Nansemond River steal set up the opportunity. McGee received a pass, dribbled into the center and finished one-on-one with the goalkeeper.

Senior Brayan Morales scored a goal 10 to 12 minutes later, “and then we started to consistently score within every five, 10 minutes,” Tordoff said.

The Warriors had five different goal scorers in the game, also including senior Yousef Al-Sarraf, sophomore Maycol Reyes and senior Ty Williams.

While a loss to the Bulldogs helped Nansemond River turn things around in 2015, Tordoff figures the 2016 equivalent of that key contest had already happened before Wednesday.

He said the Warriors played poorly and lost a home game to Western Branch High School right after spring break. A good, motivating speech came the next day, and the change in his team’s play has been evident since then.

On Friday, “we were able to beat Great Bridge (High School) for the first time in our history,” Tordoff said.

The game against the Wildcats featured overtime sessions, and Nansemond River senior Daniel Tallarico broke the 1-1 tie by scoring the game-winner with 30 seconds to go in the second extra session.

McGee again put the Warriors on the board, scoring their first goal of that game.

“Sterling’s done a really good job,” Tordoff said. “He’s scored in every game that our team has scored in.”

Nansemond River (5-2) must next do battle with visiting Grassfield High School on Friday.

If the Warriors play well against the Grizzlies and then against Lakeland High School on Tuesday, “We really could finish in the top two of the Southeastern (District) when it’s all said and done,” Tordoff said.

King’s Fork coach Michel Bilé cited fatigue and injuries as limiting the shorthanded Bulldogs on Wednesday.

“Without a deep bench, it’s kind of tough,” he said.

Bulldogs senior Kenwood Harris pulled his hamstring in a game on Friday, and sophomore Ganesh Thapa has been limping due to a leg injury.

On Wednesday, “we did not perform at our peak level, despite the injuries,” Bilé said.

But he expects the Bulldogs to be more competitive later in the year.

“Come conference time, I think we should be ready,” he said.

King’s Fork (2-4) hosts Oscar Smith High School on Friday.