Hawks get off to fast start, beat Melbourne 1-0


Published:

Viera High's Talorie Crafton (center) scored a goal four minutes into Monday's game against Melbourne and Viera would hold on for the 1-0 victory.. It was Viera's third shutout in as many games.

VIERA VOICE Carl Kotala

The Viera Hawks were looking to get off to a fast start in their matchup against district rival Melbourne Monday night.

Wow, did they get that right.

Talorie Crafton scored four minutes in and the Viera defense made it stand up as the Hawks defeated Melbourne 1-0 to improve to 3-0 on the season.

“The message was to come out of the gate quickly, press them and get on the front foot,” Hawks coach Cal Dixon said. “I think we did that. Obviously, the bonus is the goal. That helped us out for the rest of the game.”

Crafton, a junior, missed all last season because of a hip injury. Now that she’s back, and playing on varsity, she has four goals and two assists through three games.

“It’s really nice (to be playing again),” Crafton said. “When I was out, I missed it a lot and I got pretty complacent. I just had to work really hard to get back to where I was.”

As for her goal against the Bulldogs, which came on a shot from at least 20 yards out, Crafton credited her teammates.

“We pressed really high and without the whole team pressing and stepping up really high, I don’t think I would have gotten a shot off,” she said.

With the lead in hand, the Hawks continued to try to push the ball forward, while relying on solid play in the back from goalkeepers Jordan Spira and Megan Cook and defenders Lauren Mieczkowski and Caroline Boston.

The Hawks also got strong performances from players like Taylor Collins; Morgan Brubaker; Mai Jensen; Catherine Koegel; Piper McHenry; Savannah Oxley; Madelyn Rosario; Johanna Webb; Allie Worley and Serena Zarzana.

While a win over the Bulldogs was certainly a confidence booster for the Hawks, Dixon reminded his players they will likely see Melbourne again in the district tournament … and possibly even the regionals.

But if there is one thing this team seems to understand, it’s that while a good start to the season is nice, the Hawks have much bigger plans.

“It’s definitely good to have a win like this early in the season,” Spira said. “We typically don’t play Mel this early in the season. It’s typically a game a little later in the season when we’ve all meshed a little bit more.

“It’s great for confidence. It’s great for the morale among the girls. But obviously, the work ethic has to stay there in order to keep moving forward.”