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The offense of the Fike High varsity boys soccer team proved it’s rounding into postseason shape, winning handily, 7-0, at archrival Hunt on Wednesday as the Golden Demons clinched their second 3-A Big East Conference championship in a row.
“It worked out. We did enough and I think we’re getting into a little bit of a form here at the end of the year,” Fike head coach Chris Mizelle said. “That’s definitely a positive and to win the conference on top of that is a good deal too.”
Aided by a loss from Southern Nash to Franklinton earlier in the night, the victory for the Golden Demons (13-4-1, 7-2-1 Big East) in their regular-season finale solidified their placement atop the standings, finishing with one loss fewer than the Firebirds and Franklinton.
Four consecutive goals from Gavin Wheeler, including three in the first half, put Fike way ahead from the start, beginning with a goal early on.
“I think I played pretty good tonight,” Wheeler said of his performance. “It’s always a good fight between Hunt and Fike, getting the adrenaline going. I played pretty good and we came out with the W.”
Wheeler sent home his first goal of the night just under 13 minutes into the contest on a pass from Taylor Sullivan.
His second score came deep in the Warriors territory after a shot from John Conoley rolled his way near the goalkeeper. With his back to the goal, Wheeler settled the ball and kicked backward, the ball rolling into the left side untouched.
With 7:53 until halftime, Wheeler tracked down a through ball pass from Kevin Mendoza and outran the defense to put his team ahead 3-0 for the last goal of the half.
Just 57 seconds into the second half, though, Wheeler struck again, receiving a pass from Isaac Puente-Castro, side stepping the lone defender in front of the goalkeeper and putting it into the back right corner of the goal.
Although his scoring night was over, Wheeler watched as his teammates took over the rest of the way.
Puente-Castro scored his own goal in return for the assist, putting his team up 5-0 after Sullivan’s crossing pass put him in a wide open position to finish the play with 34 minutes left to play.
Eight minutes later, Puente-Castro scored again, tracking down another long pass from Sullivan for another goal.
“I felt good about it,” Puente-Castro said after the victory. “We needed this win.”
After assisting on one of Wheeler’s goals earlier in the night, Mendoza scored the final goal of the night with 23:08 left to play.
Outrunning the Hunt defense, he topped off the night with the only unassisted goal of the game.
Struggling to handle the Fike attack all night, Hunt managed few opportunities by comparison in the loss. Down to the final minutes, the Warriors continued to seek that elusive goal, but it never came.
After a big offensive performance from his team, Mizelle was pleased with the production, with a relentless attack that never slowed down and a defense that held up behind them.
“I don’t think we expected to score seven tonight,” Mizelle said. “But when you do a good job of creating chances, having people on the end to finish them, we’ll take as many as we can.”