By Brandy L. Simms
GAITHERSBURG — The Gaithersburg Trojans boys varsity soccer team celebrated Senior Night on Monday by registering a 6-1 victory over Poolesville Falcons at John Harvill Stadium.
Gaithersburg, who improved to 9-0-1, kept their perfect season intact and Poolesville suffered their seventh loss in 10 games.
“It’s great for the kids,” said Gaithersburg head coach Eric Cava. “I’m happy that they were able to come together, especially going down early in the game, but find a way to strive and be a unit and come back and put the team away.”
Gaithersburg jumped out to a 3-1 halftime advantage and never looked back. The Falcons were simply overmatched by a more experienced team.
“They’re fantastic,” said Poolesville head coach Mike Wills. “They’re the best team we’ve played yet.”
The Trojans were led by senior Jose Franco-Coreas who netted a career-high four goals in the win. Brian Kelly, a junior, scored the other two goals.
“Their attack is dynamic,” said Wills, “and I was talking to [Gaithersburg head] coach [Eric Cava] afterwards about how they really spread the field and have those crosses which really put us in a bad situation several times.”
Besides Franco-Coreas, the Trojans senior class includes Emmanuel Uduh, Alex Henning, Michael Reyes, Gerry Melendez, Moses Korlor, Jenerson Betancourth Osorio and Brian Montano.
Franco-Coreas netted a hat trick with 31:40 remaining in the second half and then scored his fourth goal at the 20:12 mark.
“Four goals,” said Cava, in his fourth season leading the Gaithersburg boys’ soccer program. “He came alive.”
Gaithersburg was led in goal by Jonathan Lovo, the junior goalkeeper earned some high praise from the head coach.
“He did really well in the beginning,” said Cava. “Overall, the team found a way to do it like we do every day.”
Gaithersburg is enjoying one of the best seasons in school history with wins against Wheaton, Seneca Valley, Kennedy, Northwest, Quince Orchard, Clarksburg, Richard Montgomery and Watkins Mill. The Trojans played to a 1-1 tie with Wootton last month.
Cava, who played high school soccer at Broadneck and college soccer at Clemson, has turned the program around in a few short years through “heart” and “hard work,” according to the head coach.
“We have this philosophy,” he explained. “We’re always going to work hard. We’re going to do it together and it paid off. These last four years under me. We went from 2-10 to now being undefeated. There’s a big strive these young players are building and they’re doing it together and that’s how we’re going to be successful this season.”
Gaithersburg, who plays host to Rockville in the regular season finale, has never captured a state championship in boys’ soccer but the Trojans enter the postseason with high expectations and lofty goals for the 2018 campaign.
“Every game we play is tough and we got to come out here acting like any team can beat us,” said Cava, “and as long as we’re doing our thing we have all the confidence in the world.”