Rams boys soccer get redemption with 6-0 win over Inverness Citrus
Published: Tuesday, January 31, 2012 at 11:00 p.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, January 31, 2012 at 11:35 p.m.
After 10 years, the monkey finally was sent scampering.
In the regional soccer playoffs for the fourth time in a row and coming off their third district title in four years, the Eastside Rams faced a different kind of streak Tuesday night against Inverness Citrus — Eastside had not won a playoff game since 2002.
“It's not like you're trying to match what someone else did. You're trying to make something new,” Eastside coach Ron Messick told players before the game. “The worst-case scenario, you just do what all those previous teams have done.”
The Rams came through with aplomb, routing the Hurricanes (17-4-1) for a 6-0 win at Citizens Field. Seniors T.J. Fillmer and James Davis combined for three goals and two assists.
“You might not be able to see it, but there's an imaginary monkey that's definitely off my back right now and the players' backs as well,” Messick said.
For the second game in a row, the Rams (18-5-2) benefited from the opposition scoring on itself. With the score 2-0 in the first half, Fillmer's shot ricocheted off a Citrus defender and dribbled past the goalkeeper.
“We've wanted this season and this win since we've been at Eastside,” Fillmer said. “Doing all this in front of the home crowd has been great. It makes us want to show off a little bit.”
Fillmer scored again with less than a minute remaining in the game. With a team-leading 19 goals, Fillmer also got the assist on the Rams' first goal of the second half, leading Davis to a one-on-one shot in the 46th minute.
“We were trying not to feel the pressure, but now we can just go have fun and go even farther,” Davis said.
Davis' feed to freshman Tyler Miller-Jones midway through the first half put the Rams on the scoreboard. Junior Nick Fethiere scored 10 minutes later on a quick cut and shot from the top of the penalty box.
Freshman Joseph Malu put the exclamation mark on the game, scoring on an assist from junior Josh Hirschfeld-Kroen with 1.1 seconds left.
With the win and Belleview's 3-2 win over Leesburg, the Rattlers return to Citizens Field on Friday at 7 p.m. in a rematch of the District 5-3A finals. Eastside has beaten Belleview twice and tied once this season.
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