J. L. Mann’s boy’s soccer team scored three goals in a seven-minute block of the second half Friday night to pull away from Woodmont and win 6-0.
The Patriots, number one in AAAA in South Carolina, improved to 4-0 overall and 3-0 in Region 1-AAAA. Woodmont is 1-3 and 0-2 in the region.
“(Woodmont) played a very good first half,” said Talon Stroud, who is in his first year as head coach of the Patriots. “We just struggled to adapt. The seniors, and the captains, I really have to give them credit. They calmed us down and kind of got us back on track.”
With Mann leading 2-0, the Patriots finally broke down Woodmont’s defense. Forward Nicky Watson scored three times between 33:30 and 26:31.
“He’s definitely a leader up top,” Stroud said. “He certainly set us on that pace of okay, here’s what we’ve got to do.”
The first two goals came after the ball bounced around the crowd of players in front of the net. He notched the third goal by getting behind a defender to put the ball past the goalie.
“We had a couple of breakdowns on the corners,” said Woodmont coach Jim Phillips. “We played a really good game overall. I don’t think the score is really indicative of how well we played.”
Conor Mattern scored the first goal of the game at 33:32 of the first half. Mann had numbers on a breakaway, and Thad Waldthausen passed to Aubrey Jones who hit Mattern coming up on the goalie’s right.
Waldthausen added a goal in stoppage time at the end of the first half.
James Campbell scored on a header at 13:42 of the second half to close out the scoring.
With such high expectations for the defending state champions, Stroud said the season has started well.
“Our goal is certainly to be back in Columbia again,” said Stroud. “We’re just trying to take it one game at a time. This is the start we wanted to have. We’ve just got to keep doing what we do well.”