Pair of hat tricks boost Falcons
WOODSTOCK – Ivan Alvarado and Korey Wolford made the most of the renewed rivalry between Central and Stonewall Jackson boys soccer teams on Tuesday.
The duo each had a hat trick to lead the Falcons to a 9-2 non-district win over their Shenandoah County rivals. It was the first time the two teams have played in boys soccer in three years.
“It was my first hat trick in regular season, in high school, so it felt pretty good,” Alvarado said. “It’s a good start to the season.”
Not only did Alvarado and Wolford each score three goals but they also combined for three assists. Alvarado had two and Wolford had one for the Falcons.
“It was a wonderful display,” Central coach Ted Poor said of Alvarado and Wolford. “Ivan has a wonderful touch on the ball. He’s not as fast as Korey, but he’s sly. Korey is a good finisher. He was my leading scorer last year. I was hoping to see the same thing this year. He has four goals already in two games.”
Wolford started off the scoring with a goal off a kick by Central goalkeeper Dean Woodwell just seven minutes into the contest.
“Dean kicked it all the way up the field, and I just ran it down and tapped it in,” Wolford said.
The Generals (0-1) were able to tie it up on a goal by Jose Jimenez-Avila with 25 minutes left in the first half. Jimenez-Avila put in a shot past Woodwell off a rebound from a Generals’ shot attempt.
“Jose, that was his first goal ever,” Stonewall Jackson coach Caleb Golladay said. “He’s never played JV. This is the only time he’s ever played. So for us to come out here and keep pushing and playing the way we did, I’m happy with it.”
The Falcons (2-0) came right back just four minutes later and took the lead for good. Central’s J.P. Bennett scored on an assist from Armando Carreno for a 2-1 edge.
“We were playing too many long balls there at the beginning,” Poor said. “I was looking for us to play more possession. We kept on saying, ‘Find feet, find feet. Keep it down,’ even though we had the wind to our advantage. I’d rather see us possess the ball and move it. Once we started doing that, the goals started to flow and that was what my hope was.”
Alvarado ended the half with three-straight goals. On the second one, he took advantage of Stonewall Jackson goalkeeper Blake McCourt being out of the goalie box, and scored on a shot from approximately 30 yards out.
“I saw the goalie was obviously out of the goal,” Alvarado said. “When I got it I was like I have to take it and I made it. … It was a really slow shot. I was actually surprised that it went in.”
Wolford scored Central’s first two goals of the second half. Tyler Bosserman and Ben Selby finished off the scoring for the Falcons.
Stonewall Jackson’s Tyler Lacek scored early in the second half for the Generals.
Central’s defense limited the Generals’ opportunities throughout the game.
“Our defense definitely locked it down back there,” Wolford said.
The Generals have only three seniors with seven freshman, three sophomores and six juniors.
Golladay said that he was pleased with what he saw from his young squad in their season opener.
“I’m not disappointed with what happened. I’m disappointed in the outcome, but overall I’m not upset with how we played,” Golladay said. “We’re learning, we’re a young team. We got a couple guys who are leading the team overall. We played better than we have (in scrimmages), playing a full game. We also worked the whole game, and that’s what we’re going to take out of this game the most. … We’re going to get back to practice and build on this.”
Carreno had two assists for the Falcons, while Bennett and Elmer Lopez each had one.
The Falcons have an experienced team this season with nine seniors, nine juniors and one sophomore. The players have high hopes of what they can accomplish.
“We have a solid team this year,” Alvarado said. “I feel like this is our prime time — our best season.”
Contact staff writer Tommy Keeler at 540-465-5137 ext. 168, or firstname.lastname@example.org