BEAUFORT — The East Carteret boys soccer team captured its first win of the season on Wednesday.
The Mariners (1-7-1 overall) beat Lejeune 9-0 in a match that ended at halftime due to the nine-goal mercy rule.
It has been a rough season for East, but a strong finish in the 1A/2A Coastal Plains Conference could mean a state playoff appearance. The Mariners are the only 2A team in the conference, but they must finish over .500 or second in the conference to reach the postseason.
“It was an important win for us,” East coach Antonio Diaz said. “It was the first time that we had our entire squad available.”
With the win over Lejeune (0-6 overall, 0-2 in conference), East improved to 1-1 in the conference, trailing only Southside (2-0). The conference only consists of three teams this season.
Diaz noted the return of Jacob Mackey, who played for the program as a freshman but did not play last year as a sophomore. The Lejeune game was his second of the season. He scored the team’s only goal in the 2-1 loss to Southside on Monday, and against the Devil Pups, he scored twice and dished two assists.
“Having him on the team gives us a plus on offense because he is fast, and his footwork and finishing are remarkable,” Diaz said. “He and Jacob Nelson really clicked in the game. It was the first time they played together, and they were involved in five of our nine goals.”
Nelson scored three goals for a hat trick and had one assist. He provided the assist for Mackey’s game-opening goal in the sixth minute, and Mackey returned the favor for Nelson’s first goal in the ninth. Nelson scored his second goal in the 13th minute for a 3-0 lead and the team’s eighth goal in the 31st.
Isaac Mackey made it a 4-0 game with a Satchel Lasky-assisted goal on a corner kick in the 17th minute. Lasky netted the fifth goal directly on a corner kick in the 19th, and he dished another corner kick assist to Mackey in the 21st.
“We capitalized on corner kicks,” Diaz said. “Satchel Lasky is very skilled at placing them on the right spot.”
Charles Matheka scored off a Logan Pilcher assist in the 30th minute, and Pilcher slotted the final goal in the 36th off a pass from Cris Herrera.
“We dominated possession, played offense most of the game and created many chances,” Diaz said. “We have created many chances in previous games, but the main difference is that this time our finishing was much more accurate and precise. We have been working on finishing a lot in practice lately, and seeing our boys produce the way they did last night is very rewarding.”
He added, “We know that we have multiple options in offense, but last night (Wednesday), we could actually see it happen.”
Diaz also noted the effort his defense gave in the team’s first shutout of the season. The Mariners gave up 30 goals through their first six matches but have only allowed four in the last three.
Said Diaz, “Senior midfielder Evan Fullwood, senior defenders Tristen Nolen and Taggert Malone, junior defender Cris Herrera and freshmen defender Liam Harding gave consistency in defense, and that allowed junior goalie Wyatt Nowacek to get his first clean sheet of the season. I am very happy for Wyatt because he works really hard in practice and shows great leadership on and off the field.”
The Mariners’ next game will be a rematch with Lejeune on Tuesday. They wrap up the regular season on Wednesday with a trip to Southside (10-4-1 overall, 2-0 in conference).
Source : https://www.carolinacoastonline.com/news_times/sports/article_76e73568-335b-11ec-b31a-37c65ce78ffa.html658