It was quite a road trip for the Scotland varsity soccer team to make it to Overhills High School Thursday night.
But for the Fighting Scots, who have struggled throughout the season, the final outcome of both games played made the 90-minute journey well worth it.
The JV and varsity teams were victorious over the Jaguars, giving both teams a win that they desperately needed.
“Our team has definitely been struggling, but they’ve never let their heads down, not once,” said Scotland coach Colin McDavid. “We’ve come a long way this season, and the fact that they’ve pushed through is a credit to these boys.”
Scotland’s varsity squad defeated Overhills 3-1 Thursday night in a game that saw Afiz Lateef, Joe Sojka and Stone Phillips each net goals. Though the score indicates a comfortable win for the Fighting Scots, the score was 2-1 in the final minute of regulation after a late goal by the Jaguars. With the seconds ticking off the clock, Overhills was making its push for some last second heroics.
But great teamwork between Lateef, Phillips and Victor Still during a Scotland corner kick in the final seconds led to the Scots’ third goal.
“I said one word to Afiz right before our corner kick: THINK,” McDavid said. “We couldn’t afford to go right at their goalkeeper, because it could’ve resulted in a punt down towards our side of the field.”
Instead, Lateef passed the ball to Still, who milked the clock, shielded the ball and returned a pass back to Lateef. Receiving a pass from Lateef seconds later, Phillips would chip a strike over the head of the Overhills goalkeeper to secure the win for his team.
After two wins over conference foe Purnell Swett, Scotland’s victory over the Jaguars is just their third win of the season.
Prior to the varsity matchup, the JV squad had a strong win of their own, defeating Overhills 5-1 on the shoulders of a great offensive performance from sophomore forward Isaiah Smith.
Smith would notch three of his team’s five goals to earn a hat trick on the night and further bolster his team-leading goal tally.
Blake Bathie and Andrew Locklear would each earn a goal as well, with Locklear’s goal coming from roughly 35 yards out.
“I’m really pleased with my team’s overall effort and energy,” said Scotland JV coach Neil Perez. “No matter how good or bad, we’re always looking to learn from each game we play, and it’s great to get a taste of victory again.”
It was the JV squad’s second win of the season.