Coastal 3A News
Conley Win Creates Tri-Championship
October 24, 2013D H Conley High School
While one Evans was racking up goals with some spectacular moves on the offensive end, another Evans made a handful of spectacular saves in the net for D.H. Conley in a 7-4 soccer victory over South Central on Wednesday.
Nate Evans found the back of the net five times and Ben Evans made the most of a rare appearance in the goal for the Vikings, who finished the regular season in a three-way tie for the Eastern Carolina Conference title with New Bern and J.H. Rose.
Conley is expected to land the third seed in the conference due to the tiebreaking procedure.
The Falcons started strong, getting a Chris Pritchard goal 27 seconds into the match, but Nate Evans turned a close game into a comfortable Conley halftime lead with four goals before the intermission.
After tying the game by beating a defender down the sideline and using a crossover to get his first goal, he put the Vikings ahead 2-1 with a stellar move, volleying the ball over a pair of Falcons before heading it down to his own feet and depositing it into the net.
Taylor Ferimer responded with a goal for the Falcons to knot it at 2-2 with 15 minutes left in the first half before Conley scored three straight before halftime.
Nate Evans completed his hat trick by cooling depositing a free kick from about 20 yards out into the upper left corner of the net. He then worked his way through a pair of defenders on his way to goal No. 4 with 9 minutes left in the half.
“He’s got real good skill with the ball and real good feel for it,” Conley coach Kurt Garner said about Nate Evans. “I think he’s just one of those natural people that can do whatever he needs to with the ball.”
Carlos Ochoa pushed the lead to 5-2 just before halftime with a header off a corner kick from Ramon Vargas.
The squads traded goals early in the second half with both Pritchard and Ochoa tallying their second goals of the night.
When Conley goaltender Trevor Reed suffered a shoulder injury in a collision with a South Central player in the second half, Ben Evans was called upon to fill the net for the Vikings.
He responded with several impressive saves, including a dazzling sequence where he made a save on an initial shot from SC’s Papa Ousman-Gueye before using his feet to deflect a followup attempt by Darrius Suggs.
“Every time I put him on the field he gives me 110 percent,” Garner said. “I knew he was going to give me everything he had. I don’t think he’s played (goalie) since middle school other than one game he played there for us against Fike. He’s definitely really surprising.”
The Falcons made it interesting down the stretch, getting a Bryce McBride goal from about 20 yards out with 23 minutes remaining to cut the margin to 6-4.
South Central had a handful of scoring opportunities before Nate Evans capped the night in the final minute with his fifth goal.
“This season we’ve found a pretty balance between offense and defense,” SC coach Crystal Molina said. “It’s just holding that consistency. We’re working together much better.”
— Jim Gentry