JOHNSON CITY — Science Hill warmed up the chilly home crowd with two early goals and led by four at the halftime break.
Elizabethton (6-5 overall) proved up to the challenge defensively, but couldn’t muster enough offense to balance the scales as the Hilltoppers took a 5-nil contest at Kermit Tipton Stadium on Monday evening.
The ’Toppers got a goal in the third and fifth minutes as EHS tried to get a gauge on the speed at which Science Hill is able to get up and down the field. The first tally came from freshman John Lucchesi with an assist from Oscar Arreguin.
The second SH goal was put in the net by senior Conner Franklin, assisted by junior Nick Boegeman and gave the ‘Toppers a 2-nil lead with just five minutes gone in the first half.
“Our goal tonight was to work off the ball and make good decisions,” said SH head coach Brandon Kind. “Working away from the ball created scoring opportunities that worked out for us. Getting on the board early was a lift for sure.”
The Cyclones were able to settle down from there, but were still unable to keep the SH attackers from the goal box.
In the 19th minute senior Ben Cooper scored with an assist from Boegeman and in the 33rd minute SH got a tally from freshman Jhordan Rogers — assisted by Perry Murdaugh — to close out the half with a 4-nil advantage.
The Cyclones had two opportunities with the score three-nil, Ashton Stevens put a corner kick into the SH goal box where senior Rafael Teixeira headed the ball off the crossbar and Tasa Mushayamunda fired a left footed shot at ’Topper goal keeper Andrew Kinneson, who made the stop.
“We had a great chance for a goal in the first half on the corner kick,” said Cyclones head coach Bill McClay. “It takes some time adjusting and responding to the pace Science Hill sets. They get up and down the field so quickly, but once we became accustomed to that we played much better. The first two goals they just caught us off guard, we were not ready for how quick they are.”
Early in the second half assist man Boegeman got a goal when he fired a shot from near the corner that squeaked by the inside post and past EHS keeper Darion Simerly.
“That last goal was a miscommunication on our part,” said McClay. “It looked like it was going out and someone called out to let it go and it ended up squeezing in. But overall the effort was pretty good. It takes some adjusting to the pace they bring. They are relentless.”
Late in the contest junior Luke Broyles, who left the pipes as keeper in the second half to become an attacker, had perhaps the best shot of the night for EHS when he broke free with the ball just outside the ’Toppers’ box and let a shot fly.
His rising blast struck the SH crossbar and caromed off the football goalpost and out of play, but he knew he had just missed one as he immediately put his face in his hands. A few minutes later Cyclones junior Kirk Dauksch put a challenging shot on Kinneson who was able to catch and hold on.
Elizabethton 0 0 — 0
Science Hill 4 1 — 5
SH—Lucchesi (assist – Arreguin), 3:00
SH—Franklin (assist – Boegeman), 5:00
SH—Cooper (assist – Boegeman), 19:00
SH—Rogers (assist – Murdaugh)
SH—Boegeman (unassisted), 44:00
Shots on goal—EHS 5, SH 14.