Cole Camp scored first but Sacred Heart answered with 11 goals to win the Class 1, District 6 championship 11-1 on Thursday at Clover Dell Park.
Max Martin scored four goals for the Gremlins. Chance Spangler and Sergio Justiniano each had two and Sacred Heart got goals from Francisco Rojas, Sebastian Aguero and Chris Mergen.
“We didn’t really do much different,” said Sacred Heart coach Travis Cooper. “When you lose focus for a minute, things like that can happen. I’d rather do that in a game like this where we know we’re a pretty strong contender than to do it going forward. It’s one of those things that we came back in and continued to play and finished the game out strong.”
Cole Camp had a pair of shots on goal early but Sacred Heart soon took control and kept the ball at the Bluebirds’ end of the field. The Gremlins out-shot Cole Camp 37-3 in the game, had a 27-2 edge in shots on goal and a 9-0 edge in corner kicks.
“The middle of the field was really crowded so we were trying to play it out wide and hit it back across,” Mergen said.
Cole Camp took the lead in the sixth minute as the Gremlins goalkeeper came well out of his goal and Taylor Sullivan got around him and scored.
The first couple of times we played them this year we were just trying to hold our own,” said Cole Camp coach Tyler Clark. “We’d end up on the defensive end and we shut them down from scoring as long as we could until we could just get some sort of run. When they pulled their keeper up, we were able to take advantage of that and we just knew if we found that space open, someone would have to take it up and release the ball and we did just that and it was very exciting to get up 1-0.”
For Sullivan, it was the third goal of the week. He had two to close the regular season in a win over Columbia Independent.
“Everybody kind of cued up on him knowing that he was one of the key guys but as the season wore on he learned how to make everybody else better and set them up well and get them shots,” Clark said.
It did not take long after Sullivan’s goal for Sacred Heart to answer. Martin scored just two minute later from the edge of the penalty area to equalize.
“We knew we needed to get something going because we gave up a goal early,” Martin said. “We got one going, trying to get the team back in it.”
Martin added another in the 64th minute, moving the ball to his right foot to get around a defender then striking it home. He scored again in the 68th and 70th minute.
Moments after Martin’s first, Sacred Heart took a 2-1 lead as Justiniano threaded a pass to Rojas who slid to get to the ball and knocked it in. Justiniano then made it 3-1 in the 13th minute.
The Gremlins added another in the 29th minute as Spangler scored off a scramble in front of the net.
Mergen then scored in the 38th minute and nearly added another in the 39th but his header off a corner kick was saved.
Off the kick-off following Martin’s 64th minute goal, the Gremlins got the ball and sent a long pass to Aguero who scored to make it 7-1.
Spangler then scored with a header off a corner kick in the 75th and Justiniano scored the final goal off a free kick in the 76th.
“We were playing like we have all year, staying connected, having our backs staggered, not playing too flat so it’s easy to cover the long ball,” Mergen said.
Eric Ingles can be reached at 660-826-1000, ext. 1483 or on Twitter @Eric_Ingles