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Mganda saves Ellis soccer

By Brian Pitts

Enterprise Record

The Ellis and South Davie soccer teams put on a heck of a show at South on Oct. 5, and Santiago Mganda’s game-tying goal late in regulation was legendary as the Jaguars eventually prevailed 4-3 in overtime.

The gifted Mganda scored every doggone goal for Ellis.

“Santiago had another big game,” Ellis coach Susan Jones said. “One of these goals came as a cross-field assist from Osiel Romero, and the game-winning goal was by doing a pretty good bicycle kick.”

It was an entertaining game that saw neither team lead by more than one. Mganda, a seventh grader, scored the game’s first goal. South sixth grader Ivan Bustamante tied it with an assist from Andy Dejesus Longares. Mganda and Ellis took a 2-1 lead to halftime, but South seventh grader Devin Hernandez Moreno forced a tie  and Talan Andrade put the Tigers in front 3-2.

“Devin does a lot of good things,” South coach Russell Hilton said. “This was his first goal in two years; he just hasn’t had good luck. This goal is going to do so much for his confidence going into next year.”

Mganda tied it 3-3 with three minutes left in regulation, and you had to see it to believe it.

“That No. 2 is a beast,” Hilton said. “He had seven guys on him. He beat seven guys. I had my whole defense back there; I had five defenders on him. Then I brought two of my better midfielders out there. I was like: ‘The only way they can beat us or tie us is if No. 2 can.’ He still did. He didn’t have any room to shoot or anything.”

Seven minutes into OT, Mganda came through with the game-winner. He had pierced South before, scoring five goals in Ellis’ 8-2 victory on Sept. 14.

“He just made a couple great shots that no goalie is saving,” Hilton said. “I mean, he is legit. His first goal was a rocket. His goal in the second overtime was unreal. He hit it from 18 yards away right underneath the crossbar. Unless you’re 6-feet tall and have reach, nobody is saving it. He is fast, he can move the ball and he’s got a cannon for a foot.”

Ellis, though, was more than a one-man gang in Jones’ eyes.

“David Fishel (18 saves) continued to be a constant backbone with another huge game in the goal,” she said. “Owen Tomlinson, as always, was a pivotal part of every play on the defensive end. (Sixth grader) Seager Brooks played as our middle striker for the first time, and he did a great job of battling and pushing the ball up the field to (Romero) and (Mganda). The improvements made by Brandon Gammon and Nathan Harding on defense were really apparent as even our goalie told them how amazing they were doing.”

The Tigers’ ability to take Ellis to the wire was a testament to guys like Evan Steele and Isaiah Beaty.

“We dominated – I mean, absolutely dominated – the second half,” Hilton said. “They probably got the ball across midfield three times. That was the best we’ve played all year. We had the pressure on them. We had 15-20 shots. It was good to finally be competitive.

“Evan played his best game. He didn’t score, but he had a lot of chances. Their goalie is pretty good. He’s a big, tall kid.”

Beaty is a special player.

“My best player on the team is Isaiah,” Hilton said. “He’s a defender, but he plays everywhere. Nobody that I’ve ever coached plays harder than that kid. He goes 150 miles per hour. He’s fast and athletic and gives it all he’s got. I’ve had to take him out with four or five minutes left in the game because he had nothing left. I wish everybody played half as hard as him. He’s improved so much. He’s got toughness and he’s a smart kid.”

Notes: The Jaguars, who had lost three straight since the 8-2 win over South, finished 2-6. … Mganda was responsible for 10 of Ellis’ 16 goals. … South scored its most goals in nine games.

WCA 5, ND 0

Wesleyan Christian Academy has hammered every team in the county. The Trojans beat North Davie 4-0. They beat Ellis 7-1. They beat South Davie 9-0 and 8-0. And they beat visiting North 5-0 on Oct. 5.

“We played good, though,” coach Daniel Gamble said. “We just had no chance against them.”

Canterbury 9, SD 1

South’s season ended with a lopsided home loss on Oct. 7. Beaty scored with an assist from Andrade. For the season, Longares (five) and Omar Mejia Carrillo (four) paced the 1-11 Tigers in goals.

Summit 2, ND 0

North was a hard-luck loser at home on Oct. 7. The Wildcats were just snakebitten against Summit, losing the first meeting 4-3.

“We played really good,” Gamble said. “We dominated 90 percent of possession and had 20-25 shots. The whole team was on top of their game. We just couldn’t get it in the net.”

By dropping the last four games, the Wildcats finished 4-8. The leading goal scorers for the season were Max Rappaport (nine) and Hunter Stephens (six).