By REID TUCKER
South Walton’s boys and girls soccer teams ran through their counterparts at Walton in back-to-back District 1-2A soccer matchups on the first truly chilly night of the 2011 season.
The weather wasn’t the only thing cold on Tuesday, Nov. 29, as the Seahawks’ squads coolly went about the business of putting shots on the goal despite the resistance of Walton’s teams. South Walton’s boys (3-2) came away with a 7-1 win over Walton (0-4) and the Lady Seahawks (3-2) blanked the Lady Braves (0-3-1) 6-0 in what was the best display from both South Walton teams since the start of the season. The Seahawks teams have both been defeated by Pensacola Catholic and Bay but have beaten Bozeman, Marianna, and now Walton.
South Walton had two players, one each on the boys and girls sides, to score three goals in the game. The honor went to Andy Rodriguez on the boys’ team and Alex Weiner earned the distinction on the girls’ squad.
South Walton’s boys got on the scoreboard nine minutes into the first half, as Patrick Ryan put a shot right into the hands of Walton’s goalie, Clay Permenter, but the damp ball slipped from his fingers and rolled into the back of the net. The Seahawks struck twice more within five minutes, as Rodriguez chipped a shot over the goalie’s head at the 11-minute mark and Roberto de la Torre sailed one in from the right side of the box a minute later.
Walton’s Andrew Shipman broke loose across midfield to strike from deep within South Walton’s territory with 20 minutes to go but, other than a shot by Matt Majors that went wide left, the Braves got no more scoring opportunities in the first half. The Seahawks made it 4-1 with 4 minutes left in the half when Lupe Gordillo went one-on-one with Permenter inside the box for another South Walton goal.
The action in the second half was much more evenly distributed between the sides, at least to begin with, as Walton and South Walton each came out aggressively. However, South Walton’s Edgar Flores broke the silence in the 12th minute when he circled around Walton’s goalie and drove into the box to hit the back of the net. About 10 minutes later Rodriguez drilled a hard shot near the right of the goal for his second score of the night, though Permenter had picked off two more good shots at close range immediately following that. South Walton took the win as de la Cruz and Rodriguez each flicked in a kick past the goalie’s outstretched fingertips just moments before the final whistle.
Permenter had 14 saves on the night.
The girls game was even more one-sided in South Walton’s favor, though the Lady Seahawks were a little slow getting warmed up in the chilly night air. Alex Weiner, who had already put two shots on the goal that either broke wide or went over the top bar, got hot in the 25th minute with a shot she sent sailing over the Walton Girls Goalie’s fingertips. Cassidy Whitson and Daniela Gonzalez each put a shot on the goal by the 40th minute but Walton’s goalie, Brianna Ellenberg, recorded the saves.
The Lady Seahawks scored twice in the final two minutes of the first half when Aleeza Kempton fired a shot off as her teammates lured the defenders away from the net and Weiner put in her second of three shots into the net as the whistle blew.
Brantley Manning made it a 4-nil game with 30 minutes left to play after two of her teammates also put shots on the goal. Weiner got her third and final goal with just more than 10 minutes left in the game to give the Lady Seahawks a 7-0 lead, which was where the game would stay despite a few more attempts from her teammates to score.
South Walton’s boys and girls squads will travel to Marianna Thursday night. Walton’s teams will face off against Bozeman in Panama City Beach on the same evening.