Cyclones blank Unicoi County in boys soccer match

Published 5:34 pm Wednesday, April 24, 2024

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Senior striker Riley Vernon posted a three-goal hat trick on Tuesday as the Elizabethton Cyclones took a conference win over Unicoi County 4-0 at Citizens Bank Stadium in boys soccer action.

Sophomore Drake Teague got the Cyclones rolling in the 14th minute sending a brilliant pass to Vernon who was streaking down the center of the field. Teague’s pass sailed more than 20 yards over the top of several defenders to Vernon who headed a strike past Blue Devils goalkeeper Zeke Campbell.

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“It was an amazing pass,” Vernon said. “Drake put in the work going down the line and getting past several defenders and when it got to the box it went straight to my head and I just had to put it in the goal, but it felt great.”

EHS controlled the pace of the match throughout and the score would have been much worse if not for several spectacular saves from Campbell. In the 26th minute Vernon lined up a penalty kick that Campbell stopped initially but Vernon put the rebound into the net for a 2-nil Cyclones lead.

“The guys played great tonight,” Cyclones head coach Doug Schultz said. “I think they just get it, and I’m just trying not to get in the way. I am just letting them do their thing.”

In the 27th minute Vernon struck again, this time knocking in a rebound of a shot by Tylar Jenkins for a three-goal advantage at the half.

The Cyclones saw a pair of potential goals thwarted by Campbell off set pieces – specifically corner kicks that saw a pair of headers stopped. Teague had one caught in midair in what was just great reflexes by Campbell as Teague fired his shot at point blank range.

“We are starting to figure out set pieces,” Vernon said. “We have spent a good part of the season figuring out how to play against tough teams and we had to work on our communication.”

In the 66th minute Teague fired a penalty kick into the net for the final margin of victory. The last Cyclone threat came when Luke Whaley headed a corner kick pass that sailed over the Unicoi County crossbar.

EHS 4-0

Unicoi County 0 0 – 0

EHS 3 1 – 4

Scoring summary

First Half

E – Riley Vernon (assist Teague) 14:00

E – Riley Vernon (PK goal) 26:00

E – Riley Vernon (assist Jenkins) 27:00

Second Half

E – Teague (PK goal) 66:00