Staff Photo from Gabriel Garcia
Sweetwater's Sammy Baker drives near Silverdale's goal as Seahawks goalkeeper Michael Dellinger slides down to try stopping the ball Tuesday during the Wildcats' District 5-A/AA opener at Sweetwater's Mike Ridley Field.
|Published: 1:11 PM, 04/11/2013
||Last updated: 1:34 PM, 04/11/2013
Author: Gabriel Garcia
Source: The Monroe County Advocate
SWEETWATER - Sweetwater's soccer team could relate to
Silverdale Baptist Academy's current situation, but it showed little sympathy on the
Sammy Baker struck quickly and finished with a hat trick, and the Wildcats stayed in
attack mode and played their most coherent soccer of the season in stretches to open District 5-A/AA
play with a 5-1 win over the Seahawks Tuesday at Mike Ridley Field.
Silverdale (1-2, 0-1 District 5-A/AA) came in with only one senior, and it played three
"This is probably the youngest team I've ever had," said Seahawks coach
Sweetwater (3-2-1, 1-0), which itself was a young team in rebuilding mode
last season, showed the difference a year of seasoning makes less than five minutes into the game,
with Baker driving down, dodging past the diving defense of Seahawks goalkeeper Michael Dellinger
and booting the ball in for the easy score.
The Wildcats kept on offense, forcing two corner
kicks within the next five minutes. Then Rion Wilkins bumped in Sweetwater's second goal from the
left wing after a scramble for the ball in Silverdale's goal box.
The Seahawks got on the
board 23 minutes in when Brandon Land's shot from 20 feet out sailed over the hands of Wildcats
goalkeeper Heath Hill and dropped down behind him. Eight minutes later, Hill made a crucial save
against Silverdale's attempt to tie, preserving the Wildcats' lead while they tried to regroup on
"Toward the end of the first half we started going back to old habits," said
Sweetwater assistant coach Kip McKeag, whose Wildcats were shooting over the goal a few times to
close the first 40 minutes.
But the Wildcats recentered themselves in the second half, with
Baker scoring his second goal a little more than five minutes in from 20 feet out after an assist
from Tyler Albright for a 3-1 lead.
"I talked to them at halftime, and I felt like we
played a complete second half," McKeag said.
Baker's third goal came with perhaps a little
controversy. His corner kick went inches from the Silverdale goal post, and as Dellinger caught
the ball, he slid behind the goal line. Whether the ball crossed the line along with him was
unclear, but the referees awarded Baker the goal, putting Sweetwater ahead 4-1.
minutes left, the Wildcats scored again on a sequence involving a rather unorthodox corner kick - a
rolled pass to Albright a few feet inside, who booted the ball to the center of the field where
Harrison Harvey came from his defender spot for a bullet from straight way.
Sweetwater was to
play its second district game of the season at Sequoyah on Thursday, but rain postponed that
contest, and the makeup is still yet to be determined. The Wildcats will play a key game at 5:30
p.m. Tuesday, hosting defending District 5-A/AA champion Boyd Buchanan.
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