The Viera Hawks entered the winter break with a lot of momentum.
They also came out of it the same way.
Yordan Torres scored from a corner kick just before the end of the first half and the Hawks dominated possession throughout the game against a shorthanded Holy Trinity side on their way to a 1-0 victory in a Men’s out-of-district football game at Hawk Stadium.
It was Viera’s eighth straight win and second since returning from winter break. The Hawks went on the road and beat South Fork 2-0 in a crucial Class 6A, District 8 game earlier in the week.
“I think we did well,” said senior co-captain Conner Floyd. “Definitely two good games after the winter break. Two clean sheets – I can’t ask for more than that.
Viera (9-1-1) entered the game ranked No. 20 overall in the state and No. 5 in Class 6A by MaxPreps.
The Hawks certainly had their chances of scoring more goals Friday night because they were able to control the ball for much of the game. But manager Nick Robinson was happy with the way his team played, especially after the match two days earlier against South Fork.
“We had a tough game on Wednesday so I thought we’d probably be a bit lethargic considering it was a tough, physical game going to the South Fork,” Robinson said. “The boys gave it their all on Wednesday night to make sure we got the win. Then you come up against another physical, tough side who pride themselves on being defensive.
“We have done enough to break the impasse, but not enough to let the floodgates open. We just lacked a bit of quality in that final third which, maybe with three for four days off, we come back and take some of those chances.
Holy Trinity (5-3-2) entered Friday night’s game without six players — including starters Will Bell, Reef La Gala and Hayden Van Kramer — which meant the Tigers had to remove several players from their JV squad.
Letting the Hawks dominate possession was actually part of Holy Trinity’s plan. The Tigers packed it defensively and looked to counter.
“We let them take possession and see what they could do against us and it worked,” said Holy Trinity coach Adrian Moreno.
“…Personally, it’s a great win for us because it was 1-0 and Viera would be expected to win against us 4 or 5-0 especially when we’re missing our guys. In the standings, it obviously hurts because we lost, but it will be better that we lost 1-0 without our players.
Moreno said the Tigers spotted how Viera was setting up for his corner kicks and had a plan in place, but miscommunication led to a defensive lapse.
Viera, meanwhile, used a short pass to Torres, who sent a powerful shot towards the goal. Floyd, who was wide and standing close to the goal, shielding the keeper’s view of the ball, jumped wide at the last second as he found the back of the net.
That goal came with 1:26 left in the first half and the Hawks were on their way to their fourth shutout in their last five games, including the two games coming back from the break.
“As I told the boys, it didn’t matter if this game was 6-0, 7-0 or 1-0, the important thing is that we had two clean sheets in the most important part of the season and that’s what we’re going to keep building on,” Robinson said. “We know the goals are coming.”
Both teams are wrapping up the regular season before the start of the district playoffs later this month.
Holy Trinity are set to host Heritage on Wednesday and Satellite on Friday in a pair of out-of-district matches.
Viera, meanwhile, is set to host Eau Gallie on Monday and play Harmony on Friday as the Hawks prepare for a second consecutive trip to the state back four.
“One of the biggest (things) I say to boys is to be unhappy,” Floyd said. “We’ve had great results and as we approach the end of the season, don’t be complacent.
“We can always be hungry, wanting more and more as we get into more difficult games.”