Stratton goal keeps Spartans in state hunt

By Mike Zima
Posted 2/13/19

ORANGE PARK – St. Johns Country Day School freshman Matthew Stratton’s wrong-footed goal lifted host St. Johns Country Day School to a hardfought 1-0 victory over Tallahassee St. John Paul II in …

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Stratton goal keeps Spartans in state hunt

Posted

ORANGE PARK – St. Johns Country Day School freshman Matthew Stratton’s wrong-footed goal lifted host St. Johns Country Day School to a hardfought 1-0 victory over Tallahassee St. John Paul II in a region 1-1A quarterfinal Wed., Feb.6.

“I was screaming with my hand up,” said Stratton. “Once Matt sent the pass, it was just a footrace. It wasn’t my good foot, but I put it [the shot] exactly where I wanted it to go.”

Stratton had the Spartans’ next best chance to score, clanging a left-footed drive off of the crossbar on a similar play in the second half.

In the final minute of the first half, Spartans midfielder Max Monroe outjumped SJP’s Fernando Huapilla to gain control of the ball near midfield, and headed the ball to Matt Wolf in the middle. Wolf saw Stratton streaking down the left side, and passed the ball between Panthers center back Spencer Duffey and fullback Luke Slay. Stratton tapped the roller once to control it, and then, still running and with SJP goaltender James Golabek closing in, lifted a floater over Golabek that crossed just under the crossbar.

“A ninth grader who weighs about 72 pounds was our best player tonight, and probably for the last three games,” SJCD Coach Brad Schmidt said of Stratton. “He is tenacious, even against bigger boys.”

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