BY BRYCE PHILLIP, Elizabethton Star
It’s still early in the season, but the Elizabethton Cyclones are rolling right along.
Monday evening inside Citizens Bank Stadium, the Cyclones stormed past Hampton 8-0 as they recorded their fourth straight win.
So far this season, Elizabethton has defeated Tennessee High (5-1), Sullivan South (3-1), and David Crockett (2-0), and Elizabethton head coach Bill McClay is happy with the quick start.
“We are just out of Spring Break, and we are trying to get back to the rhythm we had,” said McClay. “We are knocking the ball around pretty good early on.”
The Cyclones, which are 1-0 in their conference, traveled to Volunteer for a conference game Tuesday evening and will host back to back home matches on Apr. 4 against Dobyns-Bennett and Greeneville (conference) on Apr. 9.
“We have a big conference game tomorrow,” said McClay Monday. “We are going into a string of really tough games. DB is in here Thursday. That will give us a pretty good look of where we are. The following Tuesday we have Greeneville here, and that is the biggest conference game we will have.”
Monday evening, the Cyclones had plenty of players get in on the scoring action. At the top was EHS’s Jaxton Holly who recorded a hat trick with three goals on the day. Elizabethton’s Evan Fulmer and Teagan Bernshausen each had two goals apiece. Elizabethton’s Braden Holly and Austin Outland also finished with a goal each.
Just six minutes into Monday’s match, Holly jumped the Cyclones onto the board as he booted in a goal off an assist from teammate Austin Outland. A short time later, Braden Holly knocked in a header off a corner kick from Jaxton Holly to jump EHS out 2-0.
With 19 minutes left in the first half, Fulmer picked up his first goal off an assist from Braden Holly. Bernshausen followed up nine minutes later as he toed in a shot off an assist from Holsten Howard.
Fulmer picked up his second goal of the match with just four minutes left in the first half to give the Cyclones a 5-0 lead heading into the second half.
It didn’t take Elizabethton long to get things rolling again in the second half as Jaxton Holly fired in a goal six minutes into the second half. A minute later, Outland got on board off an assist from Jaxton Holly.
Jaxton Holly finished up the scoring with just four minutes left to play.
While it was a lop-sided loss for Hampton, it wasn’t all bad for the Bulldogs. Hampton goalkeeper Isiah Greenwell had some good saves during the match. Greenwell is just three weeks into taking over the goalkeeping position.
“He had some fantastic saves,” said Hampton head coach Andy O’Neil. “He just needs some positioning instruction and he will be really good. I will have him next year also.”
The Hampton soccer program is in its fourth year of existence and Coach O’Neil said things are moving ahead of schedule in regards to goals he had set for the first five years of the program.
O’Neil, however, went on to say that it will take roughly ten years or so before the program will be consistently competing with larger teams like Elizabethton.
Hampton will face the Cyclones two more times this season, and O’Neil feels the matches help his team learn and grow.