Hawks top Holy Trinity 1-0 for eighth straight win

Viera's Gabe Shelton (right) and Holy Trinity's Andrew Turner battle for possession of the ball during Friday night's non-district soccer game at Hawk Stadium. The Hawks scored just before the end of the first half and came away with a 1-0 victory.

The Viera Hawks went into the winter break with a lot of momentum.

They’ve come out of it the same way, too.

Yordan Torres scored off a corner kick just before the end of the first half and the Hawks dominated possession throughout the game against a short-handed Holy Trinity team on the way to a 1-0 victory in a non-district boys soccer game at Hawk Stadium.

It was Viera’s eighth consecutive win and the second since coming back from winter break. The Hawks went on the road and beat South Fork 2-0 in a crucial Class 6A, District 8 game earlier in the week.

“I think we did well,” senior co-captain Conner Floyd said. “Definitely a great two games coming off the winter break. Two clean sheets – can’t ask for more than that.”

Viera (9-1-1) came into the game ranked No. 20 overall in the state and No. 5 in Class 6A by MaxPreps.

The Hawks certainly had their chances to score more goals Friday night as they were able to control the ball for much of the game. But coach Nick Robinson was happy with the way his team played, particularly coming off the game two days earlier against South Fork.

“We came off a tough game on Wednesday, so I figured we would probably be a little bit lethargic given that it was a tough, physical game driving down to South Fork,” Robinson said. “The boys gave everything they had Wednesday night to make sure we came out with the win. Then, you play another physical, hard team that prides itself defensively.

“We did enough to break the deadlock, but not enough to let the floodgates open up. We were lacking just a little bit of quality in that final third that, maybe with three for four days off, we come back and take some of those chances.”

Holy Trinity (5-3-2) came into Friday night’s game missing six players – including starters Will Bell, Reef La Gala and Hayden Van Kramer – which meant the Tigers had to pull up several players from their JV team.

Letting the Hawks dominate possession was actually part of Holy Trinity’s plan. The Tigers packed it in defensively and were looking to counter.

“We let them have their possession and see what they could do against us and it worked,” Holy Trinity coach Adrian Moreno said.

“… Personally, it’s a great win for us because it was 1-0 and you’d expect Viera to win against us 4 or 5-0 especially when we’re missing our guys. In the standings, it obviously hurts because we lost, but it will look better that we lost 1-0 without our players.”

Moreno said the Tigers had scouted the way Viera sets up for its corner kicks and had a plan in place, but some miscommunication led to defensive lapse.

Viera, meanwhile, used a short pass to Torres, who sent a hard shot toward the goal. Floyd, who was onside and standing near the goal, shielding the keeper’s view of the ball, jumped out of the way at the last second as it found the back of the net.

That goal came with 1:26 left in the first half and the Hawks were on their way to their fourth shutout in their past five games, including both games coming back from the break.

“Like I said to the boys, it didn’t matter if this game was 6-0, 7-0 or 1-0, the important thing is that we’ve had two clean sheets going into the most important stretch of the season and that’s what we’re going to continue to build from,” Robinson said. “We know the goals are going to come.”

Both teams are winding down the regular season before the district playoffs begin later this month.

Holy Trinity is set to host Heritage on Wednesday and Satellite on Friday in a pair of non-district games.

Viera, meanwhile, is set to host Eau Gallie on Monday and play at Harmony on Friday as the Hawks prepare to make second straight trip to the state final four.

“One of the biggest (things) I tell the boys is don’t get satisfied,” Floyd said. “We’ve had great results and as we’re getting to the end of the season, don’t get complacent.

“We can always be hungry, want more and more as we get into harder games.”