Friday, April 24, 2015

SPORTS STORY >> Falcons bury Fair in soccer matchup

Leader sports editor

The North Pulaski soccer team got a surprisingly easy victory over what had been a streaking J.A. Fair club on Thursday. The Falcons hammered the War Eagles 6-0 at Falcon Stadium, ending the game on the mercy rule when senior Hayden Dean completed the hat trick with his third goal of the game.

Giancarlo Nino added two goals for North Pulaski and Illajah Carter got the other as the Falcons dominated the hot-and-cold Fair squad.

J.A. Fair lost its first three games of the season before reeling off four-consecutive wins. Thursday’s loss was the second in a row and second this week after the War Eagles fell to Sylvan Hills on Tuesday.

Both teams played the game with two key starters out with injuries, but the Falcons proved the deeper squad, especially with the four senior girls playing since J.A. Fair does not have a girls’ team.

“It’s our senior night and I wanted them to have a chance to play,” said North Pulaski coach Donny Lantrip. “We go to Sylvan Hills and Jacksonville and Beebe to finish our season, I wanted them to get to play their last home game.”

Nino scored very early in the game to give the Falcons a quick lead. Midway through the half, Carter got a nice pass over the top of Fair’s defense from Nestor Perkaz-Ortiz and made an easy one-on-one goal for the 2-0 Falcon lead.

Just a few minutes later, Carter was tripped just as he was about to take a shot from in front of the Eagle goal. That set up a short penalty kick that Dean put into the back-left corner of the goal for the 3-0 lead.

Dean scored again just before halftime on a rebound of a hard shot on goal by Zachary Maier, and the Falcons took the 4-0 advantage into intermission.

A change and goalkeeper proved effective for the War Eagles. North Pulaski got several shots on goal through the first half of the second half, but couldn’t get one past the new goalie.

Finally, on a corner kick and two blocked shots, Nino got the putback for a 5-0 lead.

The final goal came as a result of another offensive attack. The initial shot was deflected. The Falcons reset and Dean completed the hat trick with a 15-yard kick from the middle of the field.

The Falcons improved to 8-3 in conference play. Though that’s second-most wins in the league behind 9-1 Pulaski Academy, they are still a game behind 7-2 Jacksonville in the loss column.

The Red Devils beat Sylvan Hills 2-0 on Thursday, handing the Bears their fourth conference loss of the season and first at the hands of the Red Devils.

The North Pulaski boys and girls are at Sylvan Hills on Monday, then the boys only play at Jacksonville on Thursday.