SPRING HILL –
At the beginning of the season, veteran Springstead Head Coach Sal Calabrese felt anything above .500 would be a bonus for his young team.
At this point, he may want to raise the bar.
The Eagles, fresh off an impressive 2-0 win over defending Class 4A, District 8 champion Hudson on Wednesday, pushed their winning streak to six Thursday with a 4-0 win over Sunlake at Booster Stadium.
“This is our second match back-to-back and I didn’t make a whole lot of changes,” Calabrese said. “All the boys that started and played last night played tonight. The boys deserve all the credit. They played hard.
“It’s just work ethic, hard work. Some of these guys played 80 minutes last night and 80 minutes tonight. This game is not meant to be played back-to-back, but they did a great job.”
Sunlake came in with a respectable 6-4-2 mark (5-3-2 in 4A-8) and tied Springstead (9-3-2 overall, 8-2-2 4A-8) 2-2 on Nov. 24.
This time, however, the Seahawks barely looked competitive, mustering just four relatively tame shots on goal against Eagle keeper Joey Lasala, who saved them all in posting a shutout.
“Awful,” Sunlake Head Coach Sam Koleduk said. “We had a tough game against Pasco last night, lost 2-1, and mentally we weren’t prepared tonight. Sal had them ready to play. I thought they played well.”
Senior midfielder Stephan Philippeaux was the offensive star for the Eagles, scoring a pair of goals to go along with an assist.
Off a free kick that went off the defense, he found Josh Peirce for the first goal of the night 12 minutes in.
Four minutes later, Philippeaux got to the ball on a breakaway and put it passed the keeper, who had left the net to pursue the play.
With around 11 minutes remaining in the second half, Philippeaux tacked on his second score, connecting on a corner kick by Terry Wald.
“I feel like I played great,” Philippeaux said. “We played great as a team. We came out here wanting to win and we got the victory.
“We’re just working together, pass after pass, goal after goal. The defense is holding up fine. We’re doing good.”
Philippeaux came into the week with three goals and no assists, but scored twice Monday versus Nature Coast and had an assist in the Hudson match.
“Terry (Wald) kicked the ball over to me (on the first goal),” Philippeaux said. “I kicked it around the defender, I ran around him. The goalie came out and I kicked it in.
“…It was a good, hard cross through the middle (on the second goal).”
In the waning seconds of the match, Wald notched his second assist on a breakaway goal by Matthew Gozdziewski.
Springstead won’t return to the pitch until a tournament at Ridgewood starting Dec. 29.
SPRINGSTEAD 4, SUNLAKE 0
Sunlake 0 0 – 0
Springstead 2 2 – 4
Goals – SPG: Philippeaux 2, Peirce, Gozdziewski.
Assists – SPG: Wald 2, Philippeaux.
Shots on goal – SL: 4, SPG: 12.
Saves – SL: Krupka 8; SPG: Lasala 4.
Yellow Cards – none.
Blue Cards – none.
Red Cards – none.
Records: Sunlake (6-5-2 overall, 5-4-2 4A-8), Springstead (9-3-2 overall, 8-2-2 4A-8).
Sports writer Chris Bernhardt Jr. can be reached at (352) 544-5288 or firstname.lastname@example.org.