The secret is starting to get out that one of the premier soccer teams in the area is the Fife Trojans. Tuesday night, March 31, they showed that they’re even a formidable squad minus their three top players. The Trojans hosted a quality Orting club and turned a solid 1-0 halftime advantage into a 5-0 shutout to push their undefeated season record to 5-0 and first place in the 2A South Puget Sound League standings.
Fife accomplished this without the services of senior Mack Smith who is recovering from a foot injury suffered against Franklin Pierce the week prior. Smith was the leading goal-scorer in the entire state last season with 28 goals and was named the 2014 2A State Player of the Year. It would be difficult for any team to stay competitive and on the attack without that type of player. Add in the fact that all-star midfielder Lorenzo Ramos and goalkeeper Julian Tafolla were also out of action and that seems like a recipe for disaster.
Apparently they do things differently in Fife.
“These kids don’t worry about anything,” said Fife head coach Tony Crudo. “They’ve played so much soccer and been in so many big games, some even at the national level where they’ve won championships, that these kinds of games are just a game to them. They really handle pressure well.”
The Trojans maintained the attack against Orting (3-3) from the opening whistle and dominated much of the action in the first half. Senior sweeper Efren Monzon was moved up to forward for the game to make up for the missing players and he kept the pressure on the Cardinals throughout the entire game. Monzon had four shots on goal in the first half, just missing on each attempt. Fife broke the scoreless tie 19 minutes into the match when senior Jorge Castaneda took a pass from sophomore Axel Mejia and connected with the ball as he slid and looped it just past the goalkeeper.
Fife hung onto their 1-0 lead well into the second half and pushed back against a renewed offensive attack from Orting. It seemed that everything Orting would bring into the Fife end would be stopped well before a scoring chance appeared for the Cardinal.
Twenty minutes into the second half it was time for Monzon to find the back of the net. On his sixth shot on goal, Monzon took a long pass into the box, stopped and shifted left, shedding his defender. A left-footer just inside the right post put Fife up 2-0. He nearly scored his second 30 seconds later with a miss, but that would not be the end of his night.
Thirty-four minutes into the second half sophomore forward Bryan Flores found the ball at his feet in front of the goal after the ball ping-ponged around the box between players and punched it into the back of the net. Fife now led 3-0.
With less than two minutes in the game Monzon got loose twice and made Orting pay. With their defenders pressing further up into Fife territory, Monzon took a pass before midfield and found himself alone against the goalkeeper, who rushed out to meet him 18 yards out at the corner of the box. Monzon slotted a left-footer inside the far post and Fife’s lead was stretched to 4-0 with seconds to spare.
Monzon made the most of those waning moments and broke free again, juked the final defender twice and sent a long shot past the goalkeeper just inside the far-post for the hat trick and a 5-0 Fife victory.
Fife returns to action on April 7 against Clover Park (2-2) at Harry Lang Stadium. First kick is at 7 p.m.