GAINESVILLE — The first Knights’ goal was scored eight minutes into the game, the final goal by Johnson with eight minutes to go in the game and in between was complete domination as the Johnson boys soccer team beat Winder-Barrow 8-0 in the Northeast Georgia Mountains Cup on Tuesday at the Allen Creek Soccer Complex.
"We spread the ball around pretty good," Johnson coach Michael Goodling said. "We came into the season as a bunch of individuals and I think we’ve really started to grow closer as a team through some adversity. It’s really a lot of practice and the kids practice hard and want to learn"
The Johnson offense, led by Sammy Vargas who had two goals and one assist on the night, befuddled the Bulldoggs’ backfield so much so that Bulldoggs goalie Jesse McGee looked at his coach at one point and said, "What am I supposed to do about that, it’s (a shot) perfect."
The Knights (5-4), who had 45 shots on goal, struck first with eight minutes into the game on a goal by Vicente Trujillo.
The forward would get his name in the assist column on the next goal, coming with 26 minutes to go in the first half, which came off the foot of Horacio Vazquez and into the left corner of the goal.
Inmer Vanegas got the rebound off a free kick and curled the shot into the right corner of the goal for the third score of the half and Vargas got his first goal of the game off a cross by Ariel Mejia.
Vargas trapped the ball off his chest and one touched it into the net.
While it was rare that Winder-Barrow was able to get the ball on their offensive half of the field, when it did Johnson’s defense was strong allowing only 17 shots on goal with goalkeeper Gilberto Espinoza getting the shutout with six saves.
"We took care of it (the ball)," Goodling said. "They have some strong talented players that can move the ball well but we were somehow able to keep the ball out of the back of net. The keeper (Espinoza) made some good solid saves but we kept them from getting shots and from having time with the ball."
As if the game could get more one sided, the majority of Johnson’s shots on goal came in the second half, the Knights had 27 shots on goal.
The first goal of the second half came 11 minutes in on a shot by Vargas and he assisted on the second goal of the second half when he fed the ball to Emmanuel Cruz on a cross to the middle. Cruz’s shot hit the left corner of the net.
Franky Zuniga and Caniel Abarca would round out the scoring for the Knights with Cruz getting the assist on the Zuniga goal and Abarca scoring on a direct free kick from 35 yards out.
All told, Johnson had seven different scorers.
The game was called with three minutes left when emotions ran high and both coaches, fearing that injuries were imminent if play continued, agreed to stop the game.
"Teams get frustrated and emotions run high," Goodling said. "All I can do is control my players. I expect them to play like gentlemen."
The Knights return to action in the Northeast Georgia Mountains Cup at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday when they face West Hall. The game will be played at Chestatee High.