Gators shut out Seahawks on soccer pitch

Team will endure long layoff due to COVID-19

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SEVEN SPRINGS – Spring Creek struck swiftly and quickly – in 99 seconds, to be exact – against Chocowinity Southside on Thursday afternoon.

Taylor Smith picked up a loose ball down the left sideline and centered a pass to Michele Roblero, who ended up unmarked by the Seahawk defense. The junior fired a right-footed shot inside the near post for a 1-0 lead.

Roblero ended the day with three goals.

In all, six Gators logged at least one goal on the statsheet during the Gators’ 9-0 romp at “The Swamp.” Smith, Leslie Reyes and Kenia Flores combined for four assists.

“We got a lot of girls in, who got some good minutes,” said SC head coach Daniel Robinson. “This being a hot day, I was worried about fatigue. The subs played pretty well. We’re getting there, but it’s early in the season. I was a little worried about how they would respond when they got the news about the virus and that they’d have off for a little while.

“I told them they needed to go out and get it done today, and they did.”

The outcome occurred on a surreal day.

Due to the threat from COVID-19 (the coronavirus), the North Carolina High School Athletic Association Board of Directors announced earlier Thursday that it would suspend all workouts, skill development, practices, games and contests at 11:59 p.m. Friday. The suspension ends April 6.

The Association indefinitely postponed the season-ending state basketball championships.

Que Tucker, commissioner of the Association, said “we know that any decision we ultimately make must err on the side of caution.”

Wayne County Public Schools officials went a step further and cancelled all after-school activities scheduled for Friday.

The lengthy layoff will cost athletic teams 26 days of competition and at least half of their conference games.

“This is new territory, don’t know how it’s going to play out,” Robinson said. “I think it’s a good decision. This is one of those unknown things right now. You can say they’re a little bit too cautious, but it’s the adage ‘better be safe than sorry.’”

Robinson hopes the season resumes.

Spring Creek returns eight starters from a year ago, including Smith, who led the team with 19 goals and 45 points. Robero punched in 12 goals and handed out two assists as the Gators advanced to the postseason in 2019.

“We’ve got a good core group,” Robinson said. “I’m really pleased with where the girls are at right now. We’ve got some girls who have played and started for three years now and starting to buy in. They play well with each other and that’s good to see.”

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