OAKLEAF – Ever since the Oakleaf High boys soccer team knocked the prior state champion Fleming Island Golden Eagles out of the playoffs last season, each meet has become a knockdown, drag out, …
OAKLEAF – Ever since the Oakleaf High boys soccer team knocked the prior state champion Fleming Island Golden Eagles out of the playoffs last season, each meet has become a knockdown, drag out, physical dual that takes every player’s skill to another level.
Friday night was no exception as both teams fired off like an erupting volcano that showed its power and fury for the entire game. So physical was the game, one Golden Eagle lost a tooth during a scuffle in front of the goal.
“Well this is always, for whatever reason, a rivalry with Oakleaf.” said Golden Eagle Head Coach Michael Green, after the game ended at a 3-3 tie. “It seems like they are out for blood.”
Fleming Island drew first blood but that never deterred the Knights as they ignored the deficit and attacked over and over.
In the end, the teams proved they are clearly two of the best in northern Florida as they would settle for a final 3-3 tie with both teams having only one player score all three goals for each team. “
We never panicked; we knew what we had, we know what we were up against.” Said Oakleaf Knights Head Coach Matt Hollyoak. “We’ve played together many years in club soccer so we knew as long as we play our game, we can get back in it.” Green summed it up.
“That was a tough one. Our team played hard; they didn’t quit. We just need to work more together. They were trying to do a little too much in the end instead of playing together.”
Fleming Island would put two quick Garrett Godfrey points on the board before the first half water break thanks to an offensive attack from the Golden Eagles who were literally flying all over the field.
The Knights would not easily be shaken and continued pounding the ball into the offensive end of the field. Fleming Island would not stand by for a defensive stalemate and regrouped their attack.
At the 6:00 mark left in the first half, the Golden Eagles would get off a cannon shot from the top of the box to the keepers right that bounced around before Godfrey completed the hat trick before halftime.
Oakleaf forward Bradon Ammon was one on one with Fleming Island’s Keeper, launched another boomer and finally beat him to get Oakleaf on the board before the half at the 4:52 mark.
Oakleaf again organized an attack and at the :52 second mark, Ammon again found the back of the net for the second time in four minutes.
Going into halftime, with Fleming Island still up a goal, the 3-2 lead looked like it would not hold up as the Knights were relentless on offense and the Golden Eagles were trying to find the keys to adjustment.
After the half break, Ammon again took a feed to the left of the Fleming Island keeper, continued his push to the net and laser focused on the far corner. The shot beat Fleming Island’s Keeper to tie the match at 3-3.
“We changed a little bit. We pressed a little harder and we started playing tough ball,” said Oakleaf coach Matt Hollyoak. “We came up about another 10 yards to take over control of the midfield which is where they had a lot of control. Once we shut that down, then they had nothing they could do that. That was a classic Oakleaf – Fleming Island kind of ball game, so it was really nice.”
Green summed up his areas of concern. “We have to get working in the back; marking in the back. Oakleaf had a couple of fast strikers and they played hard.”
Next up for the Knights will be a road trip to St. Augustine where the Yellow Jackets will try and stop a two-game losing slide.