Cyclones boot UH

By Allen LaMountain

   Unleashing a 21-shot attack, the Elizabethton Cyclones scored a season-high five goals in a 5-1 demolition of the University High Junior Buccaneers on Tuesday night at Winged Deer Park.
   The Cyclones (6-5-3, 2-3-1) scored four goals in the first half and never looked back in winning their third straight match.
   John David Jativa scored a pair of goals in the first-half Cyclone blitz, while Michael Tierney and Luke Carrier also tallied scores for 'Betsy as EHS raced to a 4-0 halftime advantage.
   Carrier also tallied in the second half for Elizabethton.
   "We're getting the kind of effort we need for the full game," said Carrier. "It was important for us to get a couple (goals) in there, and things went well from there. We're playing hard for the full duration of the game, and we've been able to build some confidence along the way."
   The Cyclones used a long ball attack in getting it's offense cranked up, and it was demonstrated early when Carrier lobbed a ball from the mid-field stripe to just in front of University High's goal box, where Jativa scored from point-blank range at the 5:00 mark of play.
   "They were playing the off-side trap on us," said Carrier. "It was always open for us as long as they did that, and as long as we stayed on-side."
   It was Jativa again in the 12th minute, just moments after Cyclone keeper David Poston denied Bucs' talented sophomore Burl Williams on a low blast that Poston dove to his right for and successfully stopped.
   Moments later, Sandy Nave found Jativa making a strong run and fed him through three Bucs' defenders to where Jativa re-directed the pass by Bucs' keeper Brandon McKee to give EHS a two-goal advantage.
   "We played a lot of balls into the middle, and they were open, and we got some good shots from it," Jativa said. "Their keeper came out a lot and we took advantage of that. I wish we could have played like this early in the season, but it's good that we are playing well going into the playoffs."
   'Betsy had 11 shots on goal in the first half and 10 in the second as the Cyclones offense has awakened at just the right time of the season. Gavin McKinney was turned away early, with the keeper out of the net, as Bucs defender Jim Armstrong booted the ball clear on a heads up play.
   Williams showed his individual talents, stopping a long Cyclone pass in mid-air with his right foot and stopping the ball dead at his feet near midfield, but he made a critical error as Tierney anticipated Williams' pass to the middle, and he and Jativa proceeded to play give and go the other way.
   Tierney finished the play with a goal to the far post and the rout was on.
   "We wanted to hold him in check," said Cyclone head coach Bill McClay of his team's defensive efforts against Williams. "He scored two on us at our place, so we wanted to keep someone on him to deny him the ball."
   University High saw one golden opportunity get away in the first half when Williams was inside the box, where Poston charged and slid to cut him off. Williams was unable to pull the trigger as Poston got a piece of the ball, and Cyclone defender Lincoln Orellana covered the net. Williams then put his shot wide, and for the match was held to just two shots on goal.
   Carrier tallied at the 35-minute mark of the half, off a Tierney feed, and 'Betsy put its best first half of the season into the books.
   Eight minutes into the second half Carrier struck again, with an assist from McKinney, after McKee had turned a Jonathan Cook header away. McKinney found the ball just outside the box and fed Carrier inside for an easy tally.
   Markus Rybak got the Bucs on the scoreboard at the 53-minute mark, on a free kick from about 35 yards away that beat Poston just under the top post.
   "The best thing today, was we finished well," McClay stated. "We had 10 or 11 shots in the first half, and we put four in the nets. With the way UH played we didn't have to try and work the ball down the side.
   "We put up lobs in the middle when they pulled up because that's what was open. Not everybody adjusted to the off-side trap, but we got enough through to get some nice looks."