TJCA soccer cruises past Avery, 2-0
Nathan Mackey scored a pair of goals in the fifth and 64th minute to lead the Thomas Jefferson Gryphons past Avery 2-0 in TJCA’s home opener Monday night.
With the win, the Gryphons remain unbeaten on the season at 5-0-1 and have outscored their opponents 18-2 on the year.
Even so, coach Brain Espinoza believes there is room for improvement.
“We were a little sluggish tonight,” he said. “Avery is a weaker side than we are so we should have had more goals. I think part of that comes from playing on a Monday after a three day layoff. We played pretty good soccer in the second half and if we can continue that, we can be very successful.”
TJCA showed its speed early as Nathan Mackey ran on a long pass from Alain Colnot. His shot was just wide in the third minute.
The Gryphons ran the same play moments later and this time Mackey did not miss, finding the far corner of the net for a 1-0 TJCA lead.
The home team kept up the pressure for the remainder of the half averaging a shot on goal nearly every three minutes. Colnot, Mackey and Mathias Talbert garnered a majority of the shots but could not slide the ball past the Viking goalie.
T.J Wallace then had a clean breakaway on a through ball by Colnot in the 30th minute but his 1-1 chance was save once again by a sprawling goalie. Joseph Thelen and Grant Hernandez had similar opportunities, but their attempts hit the crossbar and bounced back on the field of play. As a result, TJCA’s lead remained 1-0 at the half.
The Gryphons once again controlled the pitch in the second half.
Aaron Alexander had a shot from point blank range in the 41st minute, but the ball went straight to the goalie. John Kean also made a nice run, but his shot was also cleared.
TJCA’s lack of offense did not hamper their defense, however. Avery registered only one shot on goal for the match thanks to the work of defenders Thelen, Devon Reeves, and Stephen Snyder in the back.
The Gryphons did get an insurance goal in the 64th minute. After a series of crisp passes moved the ball up the field, Mackey gained possession 20 yard s from goal. He used his body to create space between the defender a fired a shot in the top corner of the net for a 2-0 TJCA lead.
The home team had numerous other attempts the rest of the way but failed to score leaving the final at 2-0.
TJCA has a 10-day layoff before traveling to face the same Avery squad Sept. 19.