Elijah Hernandez’ hat trick leads Vikes past Tigers, 5-0

Staff Report

If you looked at the scoring stats after the game, you didn’t find the name Riley Dunbar who did not play.

Evan Lumbrezer and Tyson Woodring DID play against Liberty Center but were held in check off the grid for the night.

However after missing three games, it was Elijah Hernandez who picked up the goal scoring as the sophomore ripped three into the net, while Nick Rozinski and Alex Peete got one each as Evergreen shut down the Tigers 5-0 Thursday at Pifer Field.

“This team has got to be complete,” explained Evergreen Coach Dave Skoczyn of the multiple weapons he has. “We talked before the season that we have to be consistent as well and I think we are getting more consistent each day compared to the beginning of the season.”

Hernandez began his personal assault on the net on a free kick that he bent from left to right into the upper right corner with 28:21 left in the first half.

The Vikings didn’t get a lot of quality chances in the half, but had a golden one with 15 minutes left when Peete sped past the defense on the right side, but his cross curled just to the left of the left post.

“We started a little slow in the first half, having some guys missing and not playing on Tuesday,” said Skoczyn. “We challenged our kids at halftime to see how they would respond.”

Respond they did.

Peete made up for his first half miss at the 26:41 point of the second half, when he found Rozinski splitting the defense the the sophomore crossed the goalie’s face with a scoring shot to double the Evergreen lead.

The game was physical all night and when the officials detected a beligerent foul in the box, Hernandez smoked the penalty kick off goalie Logan Estelle into the side of the net for a 3-0 lead with 18:07 left.

Less than five minutes later, Hernandez picked a cleared pass and hammered a shot between the goalie’s hands and the crossbar from the 35-yard line to push home the Vikings’ fourth goal.

“He plays so hard, “Skoczyn said of Hernandez. “He is such a smart player. I wish I didn’t have to put him back but he is so good there and he is so good on set pieces. We want him to know that every time he gets in range that he has the green light to score.”

Only 44 seconds later after a Liberty Center turnover, Konnor Sanford pushed a pass to Peete on the left and the senior punched one through the five hole for the fifth Evergreen goal.

Meanwhile, Jon Burnep had to make just three saves at the other end, while the Vikes had 19 attempts at the net.

“This is a real team, you can hear how they pick up each other and they are now connected. These guys really are having a good time,” Skoczyn said of his group.

Evergreen, now 7-2 on the year, plays Wauseon in a big league game at Wauseon this Thursday.


Staff Report