Bryan Flores netted a hat trick and Fife avenged its lone defeat of the season as the Trojans defeated Franklin Pierce, 4-1, in SPSL 2A boys soccer Friday night.
The Cardinals defeated Fife, 2-1, via penalty kicks on March 25, but a strong second-half performance by the visiting Trojans made the difference this time.
“I thought Franklin Pierce played very well tonight, but we finished better this game than we did last time,” Fife coach Tony Crudo said. “They came to play, and it was much closer than the score showed.”
Fife (10-1-1, 9-1 SPSL 2A) nearly scored its first goal in the 10th minute, when the Trojans drew a one-on-one with Franklin Pierce goalkeeper Noah Carver 10 yards in front of the goal.
Carver saved the first attempt but went down on the play, setting up what seemed to be an open shot until a defender for Franklin Pierce (6-4-1, 5-4) raced in for the goal-saving block.
That series set the stage for Fife’s opening goal, as Carver came off the field for about eight minutes. Midway through that stretch, Flores took a pass in the middle of the field — 15 yards from the net — made a move past a defender and sent the ball into the upper right corner of the goal.
“Bryan is an exceptionally talented forward with incredible speed,” Crudo said. “He’s very dynamic, and I hope this means he’s getting dialed in.”
Carver came back into the match a few minutes later, and he played a key role in Franklin Pierce’s tying goal in the 27th minute.
Carver dropped a perfectly placed 50-yard free kick into the left side of the box, where Gilbert DeLaLuz took it off a hop and headed it 10 yards into the right side of the net.
A foul in the 39th minute set up a 20-yard free kick by Skylar Carver to potentially give the hosts the lead, but Fife goalkeeper Colton Honey made a diving save to his right to maintain the 1-1 tie into halftime.
A yellow card in the 47th minute gave Flores, a junior forward, a free kick from 19 yards out, and he placed it just below the crossbar on the left side for the tie-breaking goal.
Eight minutes later, another yellow card set up a penalty kick for Ray Sigala and a 3-1 Fife advantage, and a red card one minute after that forced Franklin Pierce to play the final 24 minutes down a player.
Flores netted his third goal of the night in the 65th minute off a pass from Falani Maileoi in the box.
“I needed to step up for the team, and it was a great feeling scoring those goals,” Flores said. “This was a good win and will keep us motivated for our next game.”