soccer

Crystal River’s Carson Edwards, left, and Roger Sherman of Citrus battle for the ball during Monday night’s soccer match at Bramlett Stadium in Crystal River. The Pirates defeated the Hurricanes for the first time in several years, 6-2.

CRYSTAL RIVER — First-year head coach Kent Edwards wasn’t sure how long it had been since the Crystal River boys soccer team defeated county rival Citrus, he just knew it had been a while.

“We tried to look it up. It’s been 10 to 15 years, maybe since we’ve beat Citrus,” he said. “We told this team at the beginning of the year we’re looking for a lot of firsts. And this is one of the firsts that we wanted to achieve.”

The Pirates jumped on top 2-0 in the opening 10 minutes, led 4-1 at halftime and cruised to a 6-2 victory over the Hurricanes.

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It was the first time since a 3-3 tie in the 2012-13 season that the Hurricanes did not walk away victorious against Crystal River.

“We have a strong team. We have a good group of players who have played together for a couple years now,” coach Edwards said. “They’re making some good passes and really working together as a team. We love to see when they work the ball up, make the right passes, make the right choices and then make the right shots.”

Carson Edwards was credited with the first goal of the match when he fired a free kick toward the goal and it went in after it may have glanced off a Hurricane defender.

Moments later, Pirate standout Naed Rivera scored his first of three goals in the opening half to make it 2-0.

Henry Trochez of Citrus scored on a long free kick midway through the first period to cut the Crystal River lead in a half.

After Citrus goalkeeper Brayden Moeller stopped a penalty kick, he made another great diving save moments later, only to have the ball deflect to Rivera for a tap-in goal.

“He played well. He got peppered quite a bit. Most of the mistakes happened before that point,” Citrus head coach Joshua McKenna said of Moeller’s play in goal.

A few minutes later Rivera found the back of the net again on a header off a free kick for the 4-1 halftime lead.

Ryan Ovaska and Tyler Smith added goals for the Pirates in the second half to make it a 6-1 game and Citrus’ Chris Lemione finished off the night’s scoring with a goal with six minutes remaining in the contest.

The Pirates improved to 5-1 with the win, while the Hurricanes fell to 1-3.

“We need to clean up the mistakes, work on communication and being a little more cohesive defensively,” McKenna said.

Coach Edwards was pleased to see several players put the ball in the net.

“Naed’s a great player, but he knows he can’t do it by himself. We have a lot of good players,” he said. “He scored three tonight, but we had three different players score the other goals.”

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Contact Chronicle Sports Editor Matt Pfiffner at 352-564-2989 or mpfiffner@chronicleonline.com.

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