Flashes cruise in soccer opener

Published 9:28 am Friday, December 4, 2015

PEARL — The St. Aloysius Flashes waited a month to play their first real game of the season. It only took a couple of minutes to turn it into a victory celebration.

The Flashes scored four goals in the first 8 ½ minutes, 10 in the first half, and cruised to a 17-0 win over Park Place Christian on Thursday. Twelve different players scored for St. Al, which was playing its first game since a preseason tournament on Nov. 21.

“It was fun for the starters, and you get to let the people who don’t get to play as much get out there and have a good time,” said St. Al forward Gradon Bourne, who scored three goals and assisted on two more. “We still need to work on speed of play. We’re still playing the ball slow and not bonding as a team yet. Other than that, we’re playing pretty well.”

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Casey Griffith, Landon Little, Connor Bottin and Benjamin Lobred scored two goals apiece for St. Al, while Justin Ehrgott had a goal and two assists.

The game was a rout from the opening whistle. Bourne scored the first goal two minutes in and Ryan Theriot another 40 seconds later. Griffith found the net at the 5-minute mark, and Bourne scored again to make it 4-0 by the ninth minute.

St. Al coach Scott Mathis did what he could to lessen the blow, but the Flashes were simply bigger and faster than a Park Place squad that only had the minimum 11 players in uniform. After Park Place’s goal keeper was injured at the end of the first half, Mathis voluntarily used a 10-man lineup of his own in the second half, substituted liberally, moved players to different positions, and limited them to three touches before passing or shooting to prevent breakaways.

That, though, only gave little-used players a chance to get in on the fun.

Little, normally St. Al’s starting keeper, scored both of his goals in the second half. Kieran Theriot, Chandler Roesch and Ethan Bagby, all underclassmen who aren’t likely to see a lot of varsity playing time this season, also scored.

“It’s good seeing how they’re working,” Mathis said. “I told them at the beginning of the season that you’re not going to play the same position most likely, so I want you to get used to playing every position. That’s what I’m able to do in games like this.”

About Ernest Bowker

Ernest Bowker is The Vicksburg Post's sports editor. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post's sports staff since 1998, making him one of the longest-tenured reporters in the paper's 140-year history. The New Jersey native is a graduate of LSU. In his career, he has won more than 50 awards from the Mississippi Press Association and Associated Press for his coverage of local sports in Vicksburg.

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