Gilland’s hat trick catapults New Kent to opening soccer victory
A new era of varsity soccer in New Kent started with a bang under first-year head coach Derek Yates on Mar. 13.
A physical and hard-hitting game against the visiting Colonial Heights Colonials resulted in the Trojans emerging victorious with a 5-1 triumph to kick off 2019.
New Kent’s Spencer Gilland starred in the first half, converting two goals including one from 25 yards out inside the left post, beating out Colonial goalie Trai Pryor. Tough defense by the Trojans frustrated the visitors, resulting in Gilland being the recipient from a steal to score with six minutes remaining in the first half to garner a 2-0 halftime lead.
Other New Kent players got involved, with Isaac Barber assisting Brody Smith’s header for another score. Matteo Mecangeli converted a score off a blocked shot, and Gilland completed the hat trick with his final score of the night.
After the game, Yates talked about the game and expectations throughout the year.
“It’s kind of what I expected and the competition is different every year,” he said. “I came in here with a plan to keep my bench going and keeping the boys fresh.
“The first half, I thought we could have played better, and we got a little sloppy,” Yates continued. “Of course, in the second half we started putting the ball in the net.”