Hawks put on show offensively, dominate visiting Harmony

Viera HIgh's Max My (No. 3) scored two goals and had two assists as the Hawks defeated visiting Harmony 9-2 Friday night.

When you go out and dominate an opponent the way the Viera High boys soccer team did Friday night, you would think there wouldn’t be much to talk about.

But when your goal isn’t just to win a game but to prepare for a run at a state championship, there are always things to tighten up.

“It gives us an indication of some little areas we need to work on,” Viera coach Nick Robinson said after Viera defeated visiting Harmony 9-2.

“We know we’re not quite as stout defensively as where we want to be. We gave up two goals tonight, two goals against Sebastian (River earlier in the week). We want to get back to that clean-sheet mentality.

“The goals we conceded were kind of weird ones, to say the least. I know going forward this year, we’re probably better than we’ve ever been going forward. I’m definitely happy with that aspect. I know we’ve got multiple weapons in that final third. But for us, it’s just kind of tinkering and tweaking a few things to make sure we get that resilience back defensively.

“Giving four goals up at home in two games, that’s not where we need to be at to make that run again like we did last year and the year before.”

Viera, which improved to 3-0, is coming off two big seasons that saw the Hawks get to the state semifinals two years ago and the Class 6A state championship game last season.

As Robinson said, and the scoreboard showed, they certainly have the offensive firepower to get back there again.

Max May and Yordan Torres both scored two goals and had two assists for the Hawks. Solomon Fyffe also scored twice and had an assist. Jake Brown, Gabe Shelton and Matt Murtha also scored one goal each.

Despite all that, the Hawks felt they could have scored even more.

“I think it was a pretty good game. We could have capitalized more in the first half,” junior midfielder Alex Bennett said. “I think we could have mercy-ruled them in the first half. We just kind of failed a little bit in finishing. We created opportunities, we just couldn’t finish.”

After May scored on a rebound from a shot by Torres to give Viera a 1-0 lead, Harmony tied the game up at 1-1 when the Hawks couldn’t clear the ball from their own end.

It stayed tied up until the teams returned from their first half water break. After Brown appeared to bump the ball in with his chest after a long pass into the box from Torres to put the Hawks back in front 2-1, Torres called for the ball on a throw-in and drilled a shot into the net from just outside the top corner of the box to make it a two-goal advantage.

May would make it 4-1 before the end of the first half.

Murtha opened the second half scoring when he followed up his penalty kick (due to a handball in the box) and put home the rebound. Shelton then delivered a nice header off a pass from Fyffe and the Hawks would go on to score seven consecutive goals to blow the game open.

Viera has now outscored its opponents 18-4 in the first three games as the Hawks try to get used to playing with some new faces in the lineup.

“I think it’s getting better,” Bennett said. “Our first game was OK. Our chemistry is kind of improving and that’s something we need to work on a lot more because there’s a lot of new kids, a lot of seniors who left last year and a lot of people who have to fill new roles.

“We just have to keep playing together and it will get better as the season goes.”

And that’s what it’s all about for the Hawks right now – working together, getting stronger and preparing themselves to be at their best when the games count the most.

“We know these types of games are good to prepare us for where we need to be at the end of the year,” Robinson said. “I feel like we haven’t really haven’t been tested yet in terms of where we need to be when it’s a regional final or a district final – that type of intensity game.

“At the same time, it gives us a little bit of space to kind of build towards that. We’ve got some bigger games coming up toward the end of December. We have West Shore and Heritage within a week. That will probably give us a fair indication of where we’re at come that stage of the season.”