LAURINBURG — For the second time in less than a week, the Scotland boys’ soccer team rolled to a convincing victory over E.E. Smith.
The Golden Bulls drew first blood in the opening minutes, but the Scots responded with nine unanswered goals, including a hat trick from McKenzie White, for the 9-1 home victory.
Scotland defeated E.E. Smith 7-1 in Fayetteville last Tuesday.
“In the first five minutes they came out and they scored, but then we settled down and we started knocking the ball around, which was good,” said Scotland coach Danny Gallagher. “The first 30 minutes or so after that goal we did a better job of settling down and possessing the ball.”
White scored two of his three goals in the first half, and Travis Jackson also notched a score in the opening 40 minutes.
The Scots led the Golden Bulls 3-1 with 5:29 remaining before halftime when Tripp Wells found Nyjel Collins-Jackson in the box for a goal. Wells also added a score of his own before the half to extend the Scots’ lead to 5-1.
Scotland showcased more efficient passing in the open field and dribbled less, which created more goal-scoring opportunities than the Scots were able to create in previous contests.
“They’re looking to play a little bit quicker,” Gallagher said. “The first half was better — the second half, they started to get a little goal-crazy with a lot of dribbling. At halftime I tried to talk to them about doing the smart thing and the simple thing, which would make the game an easier thing to play.”
It didn’t take long for Scotland to put two more goals on the board — a pair of penalty kicks from Jeb Britt and Shane Dubbs within a 49-second span increased the Scots’ advantage to 7-1 with 38:22 left in the contest.
Scotland controlled the midfield for much of the game and the Golden Bulls rarely threatened down the stretch.
White clinched his hat trick at the 17:25 mark when he took advantage of a defensive breakdown by the E.E. Smith back line, then Donovan O’Donnell capped the Scotland scoring performance with a goal off a rebound with 12:40 remaining.
“In the back I was impressed with Jeb where he was controlling the ball and then working it to the other,” Gallagher said. “He was consistently doing it and it’s one of the things we’re working on in practice. Donovan O’Donnell and Shane Dubbs did a really good job of keeping wide. They were holding positions well where if we could find them, they were out there and they were always in the right spot.”
Scotland improved to 2-3 with the win while the loss dropped E.E. Smith to 0-3.
The Scots will host West Columbus for their next game Thursday at 6 p.m.
Logan Martinez can be reached at 910-506-3170. Follow him on Twitter @L_Martinez13.