For almost the entire first half of Tuesday’s non-region match, the Flowery Branch High boys soccer team’s relentless attack failed to produce points against East Hall.
But once the Falcons found the net for the first time, that was no longer an issue.
Flowery Branch scored four goals over a span of 15 minutes to secure a 4-0 victory at East Hall. After Jaden Harmon broke a scoreless tie in the 34th minute, Carlos Servellon netted two of his own four minutes before and after halftime to help the Falcons (8-3-1) extend their winning streak to three games.
“We had chances early on, but we just weren’t able to finish,” Flowery Branch coach Jeremy Purdy said. “That first goal definitely helped us out, and it kind of settled us down and built a little bit more confidence in us.”
The crisp offensive showing came 11 days after the Falcons played their last game, a long layoff that was a result of the team having to postpone its March 21 game against Johnson because of inclement weather.
Purdy said the extra time off allowed the team to work on its attack, which paid huge dividends Tuesday night.
“It came down to the things we’ve been working on at practice,” said Elias Araya, who scored Flowery Branch’s final goal. “We came together and looked at the film to see how they prepare their defense, which way to exploit their defense to find ways to get in. We found those ways tonight and just really executed those things that we needed to.”
Indeed, the Vikings (10-3) were on their heels from the get-go, having to poke away a pair of services into the box in the opening minutes.
East Hall sandwiched one of its best scoring chances between those two defensive plays, only for Falcons sophomore goalkeeper Lorenzo Oropeza to make a save. He posted a shutout in place of regular goalie Sean Scheich, who was scratched minutes before the game due to a thumb injury.
Flowery Branch finally turned its edge in possession into points when Harmon’s right-footed strike off a corner kick deflected off a Vikings defender into the net.
“Things went a lot smoother after that first goal,” Araya said. “It just brings a relief to your team and your coaches. It lets you control the tempo of the game.”
The Falcons maintained their pressure, which yielded a goal two minutes later. Luke Biasi chased a ball heading out of bounds left of the goal and slung it back to Servellon, who after one touch scored on an easy shot from inside the 6-yard box.
Servellon notched another goal in the 44th minute when an East Hall defender ran into his own goalkeeper, who rushed forward to try to scoop up the ball. The sophomore forward trotted after the ball as it rolled into the net to give the Vikings a three-goal deficit.
“From the beginning, we wanted to pressure the center backs because we knew they weren’t technical or very good with the ball at their feet,” Servellon said through Araya, who translated from Spanish.
Alexis Jimenez delivered one of his two assists in the 49th minute, booting a beautiful free kick from midfield that flew right into the penalty box.
Araya snuck behind the back line uncontested and fired the perfectly placed ball into the right-hand pocket of the net. Purdy said the win should give his team some confidence and momentum heading into its next Region 8-AAAAA game, which will be at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Loganville.
“We’ve been dominating teams, keeping the possession, and a lot of times when it comes to getting the final goal in, we’ve just been missing the easy chances sometimes,” Biasi said. “We get down the wings or find the gap in the middle, and once we get that first goal, it just keeps going from there.”
Despite the loss, the Vikings can maintain their stop atop the Region 7-AAA standings when they travel to North Hall at 7:30 p.m. Friday.
FLOWERY BRANCH GIRLS 10, EAST HALL 0: Six different Lady Falcons scored during their win Tuesday night.
Morgan Wadsworth led the way with four goals, while Caroline Wysocki netted a pair of her own. Glorismel Chavez, Callie Huff, Anna Grady and Halie Windish all contributed one goal apiece for Flowery Branch (7-5-1).
Wysocki and Allyson Lusco each had an assist. The Lady Falcons travel to Loganville at 5:30 p.m. Friday for a crucial region game.
The Lady Vikings (2-10-1), meanwhile, have a road match against North Hall at 5:30 p.m. Friday.