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Lafayette Boys Soccer Coach Brian Sorrell said he felt confident in his team heading into a big showdown against an undefeated York team on Friday.
Even in his wildest dreams, Sorrell did not see Friday's game playing out like it did.
Behind a pair of goals from Jason Eckenrode, the Rams handed York its first loss of the season during a 4-0 victory at home.
"I did not expect that because they are very talented. They were undefeated for a reason," Sorrell said. "Luckily, we had four days of practice to prepare for this game. Our motto is, 'We're going to make ourselves better every day.' Today, I think we made ourselves better."
Against what had, at times this season, been a shaky Lafayette defense, York controlled time of possession in the early minutes of the game.
The Falcons had a potential game-changing opportunity in the 22nd minute as a Lafayette defender was called for a handball in the box, leading to a York penalty kick.
York's Gavin Homan stepped to the penalty spot and fired the ball toward the right side of the net.
However, Lafayette goalkeeper David Domalski guessed correctly, sprawled to his left and deflected the ball away from the goal to keep the scoreless tie intact.
"If I had to give a game ball to someone, it would be to Domalski," Sorrell said. "That save set the tone of the game and got things going in our favor."
In the 33rd minute, Lafayette scored the go-ahead goal as Eckenrode collected a pass from Tom Pogue and hammering the ball past York goalkeeper Jacob Reimers.
Eckenrode's goal gave Lafayette a 1-0 lead heading into the break.
Pogue hopped into the scoring mix in the 56th minute as he received a cross from Eckenrode that was deflected by Reimers. With Pogue alone near the back post, he was able to finish the ball with ease to put the Rams up 2-0.
The game was effectively put out of reach in the 65th minute as Eckenrode scored an early contender for the Bay Rivers District's best goal of the season.
Eckenrode carried the ball down the left side of the pitch before firing a hard, curling ball just inside the far post and just outside of the reach of Reimers, who had no realistic shot of stopping the perfectly placed strike.
With Lafayette up 3-0, Desean Hilt capped the game off with a goal of his own after receiving a through ball from Pogue. With the defense beaten, Hilt curled the ball into the lower-right corner of the net for the game's final score.
Friday's win is the biggest of the season so far for Lafayette, but Sorrell was quick to emphasize to his team that one game does not define the season.
"It's just one game. I want to make sure we are firing on all cylinders by the time we hit the playoffs," Sorrell said. "It's great to get a win because it builds morale and winning is contagious."
Lafayette (3-2-1) will visit Grafton on Monday, while York (9-1) will look to rebound on the road against Bruton on Tuesday.
Lafayette 4, York 0
Goals: Lafayette (Jason Eckenrode 2, Tom Pogue, Desean Hilt)
Assists: Lafayette (Tom Pogue 2, Jason Eckenrode)
Grafton Drubs New Kent
A little rain could not slow down Grafton's offense as the Clippers routed New Kent 9-0 at home Friday evening.
The game was called early because of the Virginia High School League's eight-goal rule.
Leading the charge for Grafton was Chase Green and Patrick Garber, each of whom logged a pair of goals.
Other goal scorers for Grafton were Dylan Lorio-MacNamara, Scott Butz, Tahj Chisolm, Alec Young and Adam King.
Grafton (7-2) will resume its season with a tough home game against Lafayette on Monday.
Grafton 9, New Kent 0
Goals: Grafton (Chase Greene 2, Patrick Garber 2, Dylan Lorio-MacNamara, Scott Butz, Tahj Chisolm, Alec Young, Adam King
Assists: Grafton (Nathan Dallaire, Patrick Garber, Stuart Ehrlich)