LINDALE — The Gordon Central Warriors had some quality scoring chances early in Thursday’s Region 7-AA matchup at Pepperell, but the shots just wouldn’t seem to fall. But once they got that first goal in the 20th minute, the dam broke and the rout was on from there.
The Warriors got a Sergio Ortiz goal off an assist from Charley Garcia to take the lead halfway through the first half and controlled the game from there with several different players contributing offensively in a 6-0 win over the Dragons on the road.
Gordon Central (5-0, 3-0 in 7-AA) added another goal in the 27th minute from Brayan Rico off another assist by Garcia, and they put an exclamation point on the first half with a goal in the 38th minute once again off the foot of Ortiz to make it 3-0 heading into the break. Garcia added his third assist of the game on that goal.
“I was really happy to see that first goal go in because we had some really good chances early in the game, and it was starting to get frustrating for the guys to not see those turn into goals,” said Gordon Central head coach Matt Wiley. “And everyone we play knows that Charley is a great goal scorer and a great player, but we really like to show that we’re more than just a one-man scoring team. We had good ball movement and had several different guys score tonight. We’ve had several guys really grow into being good players and good scorers. It was good to see us up 3-0, and Charley hadn’t even scored by that point.”
The offensive surge continued in the second half for Gordon Central as they made it 4-0 in the 51st minute off the foot of Garcia for his first of two goals on the night to go with his three assists. He added the Warriors’ final goal in the 63rd minute.
Between those two goals was a rocket shot into the back of the net that Owen Morales connected on for Gordon Central to make it 5-0 in the 58th minute.
The Warriors’ defense was able to play well in the victory also earning the shutout thanks to some great play on the back end, including kicking a ball out of the box at the last second on a breakaway by Pepperell in the 30th minute. Armando Sanchez recorded the clean sheet at keeper with multiple impressive saves, and Gordon Central defenders Javan Baker, Allen Garcia, Cristian Saldana and Oliver Cardona also made a big impact in the win.
“Our defense played really well tonight,” said Wiley. “None of those guys on the defensive side started last year for us with several seniors in those positions. They had some huge shoes to fill, and they have all stepped up and played well. And with Armando in the net, I think we have the best keeper in the region.”
The Warriors continued their impressive start to the season with the road win as they remain unbeaten and have eyes on that Region 7-AA title. They will face a big test on Tuesday when they visit Model at 7 p.m. with the Devils also sporting an unbeaten record in 7-AA play early in the season.
“I knew we had a great team last year before we had to end the season early,” said Wiley. “We had a few more unknowns coming into this season with new guys in new spots, but they have played really well so far. I’m proud of what our guys have done and how hard they have worked. We still have some improvements to be made, but I’m excited about where we are at this point of the season.”