The Hawks used a timely goal from senior Ally Runge to take a 2-0 lead in the second half against the Bulldogs.
At first, Emily Stout couldn’t believe it. Late in the first half in a neck-and-neck game against Flagler Palm Coast, the Spruce Creek freshman found herself in front of her defenders with a clear shot at the net.
With laser-like focus, Stout delivered a piercing strike on the back of the ball, which found the bottom left corner of the net and left the Bulldogs’ goal keeper on the ground.
It was the first goal of Stout’s high school career.
“I was in shock,” Stout said. “I just remembered my coach telling me to open my hips and to stay relaxed and calm. When I saw it go in the goal, I was just so excited. It was crazy.”
Although Stout’s goal gave the Hawks the first lead of the game with 3:16 remaining in the first half, it was senior Ally Runge’s timely goal off a free kick that proved to be the back-breaker for FPC. Leading 1-0 with 10:51 to go in the game, Runge took advantage of a relaxed Bulldogs defense, quick-shotting a free kick from well outside the box into the left corner of the goal.
With Runge’s score, the Hawks (6-0) defeated the Bulldogs 2-0 on the night of Monday, Nov. 20, at Spruce Creek High School’s Pop Johnson Field.
“Ally had a great, heads up play,” Spruce Creek coach Edson Abadia said. “Everyone knows that if the ball is set and the defense isn’t ready, you can take it early and take advantage of the situation. And we capitalized on that.”
But despite the Hawks’ hot start to the season, Abadia said the team is still suffering some growing pains: The Hawks only return five players from last season. In addition, Abadia added that many of the girl’s on the varsity team either didn’t go to Spruce Creek last year or were on the junior varsity squad.
“We’ve got a lot of young players on our team,” he said. It’s tough jump when you have a completely new team, to get everyone to buy in and play at a certain style.”
As for the game, Spruce Creek’s win over the Bulldogs (5-1-1) could be the start toward the team’s quest for a district title. Over the last few years, the two schools have duked it out for the district’s top spot. Last year, the Hawks won it.
Runge thinks the Hawks’ win over FPC could set the tone for the rest of the season.
“Without a doubt,” she said. “We practice just for this game, so when we win it, it gives us good vibes for the rest of the season. FPC’s always been a rival, so to know that they just can’t beat us is a pretty good feeling.”