By TOM BONE
Bluefield Daily Telegraph
RICHLANDS, Va. —
Carter Rasnick secured a hat trick for the Tazewell Bulldogs in the first 13 minutes of Saturday's Southwest District soccer tournament opener with Carroll County. Then he up-sized the hat.
Rasnick put five scores on the high-tech scoreboard at Ernie Hicks Stadium on Saturday night and the Bulldogs routed the Cavaliers 8-0 in their first-round match, avenging a Carroll County win at Tazewell in the regular season.
“We played well,” said Tazewell (7-9-1) coach Tim Rasnick.
Carroll County (2-12) played a man down the entire game. Graduation was held earlier on Saturday in Hillsville, and only 10 players reported in for the drive to Richlands. They reportedly even had to cope with a bus breakdown en route.
“We had seven seniors on the team, and three showed up today,” said first-year head coach Corey Williams. “I've got to give credit to my 10 guys who showed up for coming out here, and knowing from the get-go, when they got on the bus that we'd only have 10 players.
“They also knew that Richlands has this turf field, the biggest field in the district, and they'd be going out there, knowing that they would have to play 80 minutes … .”
It turned out to be a little over 76 minutes. The officials halted the game after Tazewell's Corey Brewster punched in the eighth goal from about 10 yards out, beating a pair of defenders.
Williams said that at the end, “I didn't see a single one of my guys hang their heads. They fought and they left their heart out on the field tonight. That's all I can ask of them as a coach. I'm proud of all my guys who showed up.”
At times Carter Rasnick weaved among Cavalier defenders to face down the goalkeeper. At other times he barreled bull-like through the opposition.
He was joined in the scoring column by Jawan Jordan, who enticed the Cavs' goalkeeper to come out, then faked past him and poked the ball into the wide-open goal for a 5-0 halftime lead.
In the second half, Corey Brewster dished a nice pass to Spenser Necessary, who coaxed a dribbler across the goal line with 20:15 on the clock.
Carter Rasnick's final goal came from long distance about 12 minutes later. Brewster issued the coup de grace with 3:52 showing. A whistle ended the match at that point.
Tazewell led in shots on goal 11-4. Carroll County managed one shot on goal in the first half.
Tim Rasnick said he hoped the momentum from the match will carry over into the tournament semifinal game with Abingdon on Tuesday at about 8 p.m.
He put the season in some perspective. “Down here against Richlands, two weeks ago, we were tied with 10 minutes to go and wound up getting beat right at the end. The Friday before last, we tied Marion at home. We won at Carroll County on Monday,” he said.
“We're finally getting a few decent breaks. We've played well all year; we've played with a lot of heart. It's just been the mistakes, the bad luck, that have cost us.”
“I'm hoping that the kids are back on track, and focused, and ready to give Abingdon a game.”
—Contact Tom Bone