By Steve Jackson
Riverview High Sharks boys’ and girls’ soccer both continue playing a brand of perpetual hustle going in to matches at Lithia in games moved up a day due to impending bad weather. The Sharks faced arch-rival and district foe Newsome of Lithia. The boys won 1-0 to go 4-3 overall and 2-1-1 in the district. The Sharks girls lost to Newsome 4-0 to fall to 6-2 overall and 2-2 in the district.
Next up for the boys is a Jan. 7 tourney at Temple Terrace. They play the first game at 8:30 a.m. against Alonso and the second game with King later that day. Games follow with Strawberry Crest in Dover on Jan. 8 at 8 p.m. Riverview soccer comes back home after the Christmas break with a Jan. 11 match against Plant City.
In December games, both Riverview Sharks’ soccer teams took advantage of some home cooking. And it sure tasted good. The Sharks won five of the six games at J. Vince Thompson Field. The girls soccer squad won all three games it played, while the boys took two of three.
The girls defeated East Bay 4-1, Robinson 4-0 and Plant City 1-0. Against East Bay, four different Sharks tallied goals. Aliyah Farmer opened the scoring for the Sharks, kicking a goal from 20 yards out with 9:30 left in the first half. Four minutes later, Alexia Greene had a tap-in to put the Sharks up 2-0 heading into the half. Aimee Petit made it 3-0 Riverview finding the top of the net from 20 yards out and, following an East Bay goal, Cambree Sargable added the Sharks’ fourth goal at the end of the game.
Against Robinson, Farmer scored twice. Farmer’s first kick for a score was with 29 minutes into the game. Much later, she registered another goal at the conclusion, Megan Lee’s goal came with 12 minutes left in regulation and Petit scored three minutes later.
On Dec. 7, the Sharks prevailed in a defensive struggle, defeating Plant City 1-0 on a Petit free kick with 20 minutes remaining in the game.
The Sharks boys started the week dominating East Bay, taking a 5-0 decision. Alejandro Rojas scored the first of his three goals with seven minutes left in the first half, scoring on a breakaway from 15 yards out. Rojas opened the second half for the Sharks, scoring from the right side four minutes into the second half. Luis Simances put Riverview up 3-0 with 12 minutes remaining in the game, and Rojas earned the hat trick with his goal four minutes later. Omar Ibanez closed out the game with a 10-yard shot as the Sharks blew out the rival Indians from East Bay.
Against Robinson, the boys were even more dominant, defeating the Knights 6-0. Ibanez provided a harbinger, tapping in a goal from the right side with only 30 seconds off the clock. Matthew Astacio put the Sharks up 2-0 on a header with eight minutes remaining in the half. Rojas wasted little time in the second half, scoring two minutes after intermission from 15 yards out. Carlos Davila then went on a tear, recording the next two goals within a two-minute period, scoring with 24 and 22 minutes remaining in the game, putting the Sharks up 5-0. Michael Ruiz put in the final goal on the night for the Sharks with eight minutes showing on the clock.
“We have a strong group of boys who are working hard for each other,” Riverview head boys Soccer Coach Darik Olson said following the Robinson game. “Tonight it showed as Riverview was playing 2-3 touch soccer, moving the ball quickly and creating lots of chances.”
The Shark boys met a tough Plant City defense last Friday, falling 2-0. Neither team was able to score in the first half, and the game appeared headed for a scoreless tie until Riverview was called on a penalty inside the goal box with 33 minutes left in the game. Following the conversion, the game remained tight until the Raiders added a game-ending goal.