The Hawks mercy-ruled the Buccaneers 10-0 in the first half.
It was as if Mainland’s goal keeper, Leah Nowak, had had her feet dipped in cement. All it took was one move from Hawks striker Jordan Di Vernier and the Buccaneers’ goal keeper was on the ground. Di Verniero had a simple, clear shot to the back of the net.
By halftime, Mainland girls soccer coach James Harden wasn’t sure how many goals Di Verniero scored against his team’s defense.
“Too many,” Harden said. “[Di Verniero’s] pace, her size and her finishing ability: It just made it so difficult for my back line.”
In her final year at Spruce Creek, Di Verniero is chasing history. She’s already the most prolific goal scorer in school history, and against Mainland, she continued her quest to become the top scorer in Volusia County history.
Di Verniero, who scored 49 goals last season, found the back of the net six times in the Hawks’ 10-0 win against the Buccaneers (0-1) on the afternoon of Thursday, Nov. 9, at Mainland High School. The game was called at halftime due to the uneven score.
Against the Buccaneers, Di Verniero scored her first goal barely a minute into the game and her sixth goal about eight minutes before referees blew the first-half whistle. Using her size, speed and athleticism, she routinely found herself behind the Buccaneers’ back line with a clear shot at the net.
But does scoring ever become monotonous for her?
“No. Never,” Di Verniero said. “It’s always a different way that I score, and it never gets old.”
Spruce Creek coach Edson Abadia said Di Verniero is "a tremendous talent."
“Every year she comes back and continues to improve," he said. "You know, a lot of times, players who are excelling tend to become content, but she’s always looking for ways to improve. She’s going to get a lot of goals this year.”
As a team, Spruce Creek has started the season with three-straight wins. And despite leading one of the most dominant teams in the area, Abadia said the hot start is a confidence booster.
“It’s all about momentum,” he said. “When a team gets out of the gate with a few wins, it’s a great way to get players engaged and to keep the excitement moving forward. And every now and then, we have some tough games. And like every team, we face adversity, and we have to overcome it.”
Still ahead on the schedule are dates with Seabreeze and district rival Flagler Palm Coast. The Hawks will meet FPC twice this season in games that could decide the top team of the district. Last season, the Hawks won the district title.
“It’s either us or them, and it’s been like that for the last 10 years,” Abadia said. “It always goes in spurts and runs. But, we’re hoping to defend that title.”