Cyclones solve Vikings with 2-0 shutout

By Allen LaMountain

   BRISTOL -- The Tennessee High monkey on the backs of the Elizabethton Cyclones had grown to gorilla proportions until Friday night at Stone Castle, where the Cyclones ended years of futility.
   Using two quick first-half goals, 'Betsy finally broke through against the Vikings with a 2-0 victory that earned the Cyclones their first-ever win over the Bristol school in boys' soccer.
   John David Jativa scored at the 34:28 mark of regulation on a breakaway as Jonathan Cook fed Michael Tierney near mid-field and Tierney lobbed a pass over several Viking defenders on to the foot of Jativa, who blasted a shot past THS goalkeeper Zach Edwards.
   "It was big getting that first goal," said Jativa. "We had been giving up the first goal in all three of our other games, so it was big from a confidence level. Tierney put the pass right through the middle, and I saw the goalie come out, so I cut to the left and had a good shot at the right corner."
   A little over six minutes later Edwards made a fatal error on the Viking sideline as he tried to pass the ball to one of his mates. Carrier quickly shot in front of the intended player and dribbled into the penalty area as Edwards tried to scramble back into the nets.
   Carrier's shot was low and to the left corner, easily beating an out of position Edwards and staked the Cyclones to a two-goal advantage.
   "My sideline was yelling to me that he was off his line," said Carrier. "And I put my foot on it, and it was side net. It gave us a huge boost in momentum to get ahead so quickly."
   The stunned Vikings regrouped by putting four shots on Cyclone goalkeeper David Poston, but he turned each shot away, with none of those shots being a real threat to go into the 'Betsy net.
   EHS had five shots on goal in the first half, but more importantly had a two-goal lead to work with. Each team finished with eight shots on goal for the match.
   'Betsy nearly added to its lead late in the first half as Carrier sent in a tough shot low and to Edwards' left, but he was able to come up with the save on that one.
   The rebound got away from him momentarily, but he was able to scramble to get the loose ball before Jativa arrived.
   Jativa nearly scored again on a shot that clearly had beaten Edwards, but an alert play by Chris Cobb saved the day for the Vikings as he headed Jativa's shot away.
   "We never put any real good shots on goal," said Vikings head coach Evandro Valente. "We had two crucial mistakes in the early portion that hurt us, and Elizabethton capitalized on them."
   Just before the half the Vikings had two scoring chances go by the boards as Poston came up big on Jeremy Baskin's low shot that Poston fielded cleanly, and more importantly, surrendered no rebound.
   The second came off a corner kick from Noble Robinette that saw Mike Adams' header stopped by a diving Poston, and the rebound cleared away quickly by Lincoln Orellana.
   The second half was a defensive struggle that saw the Vikings try desperately to mount a challenge, but the Cyclone defense stood firm and turned away each scoring opportunity Tennessee High tried to sustain.
   The Vikings outshot 'Betsy 3-2 in the second half, but again none of those shots was blasted, and were easily turned away by Poston.
   "The big thing was the communication out there was much better," said Cyclone head coach Bill McClay, whose squad improved to 1-3-1. "That's what it takes to have success. I would say we got fatigued in the second half. This was our second game in two nights, and our third this week, but emotionally this was huge. It's a good way to go into spring break."
   Tennessee High fell to 1-3 on the young season.