By REID TUCKER
Walton’s boys’ soccer team dominated the visiting Chipley Tigers to win the Braves’ first-ever mercy rule victory.
The Friday, Dec. 10, win marks Walton’s second against the Tigers, having beaten them 6-1 on the road earlier in the season. The Braves (2-5-2) completely controlled the pace of the game through both halves, matching the previous games’ six goals in the first half alone.
Midfielder Ricardo Ramirez had four goals to his credit by the end of the game, including the opening goal of the night, which he blasted past Chipley’s keeper within the first three minutes. Andrew Shipman, Gabriel Solis, Armando Ramirez and Carlos Morales also contributed to Walton’s score before time was called in the 63rd minute of play. Chipley’s lone goal was scored by Jared Bozarth in the 24th minute of the first half.
Walton coach Steve Stevenson said the big win was just what his players needed to prove what they can do when they really get down to business.
“It was good for our team to finally break out and show what we’re fully capable of,” he said. “I never enjoy mercy-ruling a team like we did but we’ve played a lot of tough games this year and this was something we needed to boost our spirits and our confidence.”
The Braves opened the floodgates early, with Ricardo Ramirez putting the team on the scoreboard twice within eight minutes of play. Shipman added another goal exactly eight minutes later and was followed by Solis at the 20-minute mark.
After the water break, Chipley scored its sole goal of the evening on a penetrating shot from up close by Bozarth, but the Braves returned fire in the 28th minute thanks to Armando Ramirez. Ten minutes later, Ricardo Ramirez earned his third three-goal-in-a-half hat trick of the season on a brilliant breakaway shot. The midfielder juked a screen of Tiger defenders before falling back to drill the ball into the back left corner of the goal within moments of the end of the first half.
Chipley’s goalie, Michael Waits, did an admirable job keeping the embattled Tigers in the game, blocking or catching seven of Walton’s ten non-scoring shots on the goal. Walton starting keeper Stan Standland, on the other hand, had a comparatively easy job to do on his first game back from injury, with two saves. Chipley put three shots on the goal in the first half, including one 14 minutes in, but that one bounced off the goal post, narrowly missing the back of the net….
Read the full story in the December 16, 2010 edition of the Herald Breeze.