Worley scores five times, Viera blanks Sebastian River
Hawks advance to district semifinals with 8-0 win
Viera High senior Johanna Webb heads the ball during Thursday night's Class 6A, District 12 tournament quarterfinal against Sebastian River. The Hawks won the game 8-0 to advance to Wednesday's semifinals against Martin County.
VIERA VOICE Carl Kotala
Well, that was a quick night’s work.
The Viera High girls soccer team got five goals from Allie Worley – three before the first-half water break – on the way to an 8-0 victory over Sebastian River in the quarterfinal round of the Class 6A, District 12 tournament at Hawk Stadium.
With the win, the third-seeded Hawks (14-1-2) advance to the district semifinals Wednesday at 7 p.m. against No. 2 Martin County (14-4-2).
The other semifinal will pit No. 5 Melbourne (11-4-3) – a 3-0 winner over South Fork -- against No. 1 Harmony (13-5-1) at 5 p.m.
Martin County, which beat Sebastian River 4-0 in a regular-season matchup last Friday, figures to give the Hawks a much bigger test in the semifinals.
That’s not to say, however, that Viera didn’t get anything out of their easy win against the Sharks.
“I think anytime we get to play on the field, it’s a good chance to practice and play as a team,” Viera senior midfielder Madelyn Rosario said. “Every game, you have to go into with a good mentality. Wednesday’s going to be a tougher game.”
Worley, who scored four goals in the first half, put an end to the game four minutes into the second half with No. 5.
The junior forward said it wasn’t the first time she had scored five times in a game, but it was the first time this season. In fact, Worley – who has had to deal with a couple of injuries this season -- doubled her goals for the season in one game.
She now has 10 goals, joining teammates Talorie Crafton (15), Taylor George (14) and Taylor Collins in double digits.
“I just wanted it,” Worley said. “I’ve been off my game lately, and I told myself, ‘This is the game where you need to step up your game. You need to put a fire under your butt.’”
While Worley may not be on pace to match the 19 goals she scored as a sophomore, Viera coach Cal Dixon made it very clear he thinks she has played well this season.
“To be honest, I don’t think she’s been off her game this season,” Dixon said. “Statistically, you could say that, but … I think in her actual overall game, she’s contributed very well for us.
“She’s helping the other forwards and the other players on our team to be better. From my perspective, and what I would say to her, is that I think she’s contributed very well so far this year. I’ve been happy with her.”
Viera didn’t waste any time getting on the board Thursday night as sophomore Victoria Whener scored in the opening minutes to put the Hawks up 1-0. Whener would also have an assist.
Crafton and junior Piper McHenry also scored goals for the Hawks. McHenry also had an assist.
Although the Hawks were hoping to put the game away in the first half after jumping out to such a big early lead, the fact that they were up by so much gave them a chance to rest some starters and give some players off their bench valuable time on the field.
“It’s important,” Dixon said. “To be honest, we did it even more so the last game, when we played Bayside (and won 3-1). That was to win the Cape Coast Conference, which we did and was a great thing for us to do.
“We basically emptied our bench against Bayside. We’ve been doing that a lot this year. To me, as a coach, it’s great that we have that depth, because we’ve got a few injuries going into districts. But we haven’t missed a beat because we’ve got a good, strong squad. It’s been good.”
As Dixon told his team, Thursday’s game was a perfect example of how well the Hawks can play when they remain calm and don’t get too emotionally amped up for the game.
“I think when we play teams like Mel(bourne) or other teams, we get really hyped for it,” Rosario said. “We think about it all day. Sometimes, it’s over the top.
“When we go into games like that, it just turns into kickball. When we’re a little bit calmer, we play our game.”