Fort Mill Times

Indian Land boys stay undefeated

If any sports fans in Indian Land have not heard the name Sergio Esparrago, they will.

Esparrago, a first-year player on the Indian Land High School boys soccer team who grew up in Costa Rica, has led the team to a 10-0 record so far this season and a fourth place ranking in the state.

Thursday night he capped off an incredible two-game stretch during which he scored nine goals, five against Lewisville Wednesday, and all four of the Warriors' goals against county rival Andrew Jackson Thursday for a 4-1 victory.

"Sergio is on fire," said Head Coach Adam Cole. "Usually they double or triple team him, which works out for us to because it opens other people up, but tonight, with his speed up top, nobody could stop him."

The match against Andrew Jackson was somewhat of a showdown for the two Lancaster County schools. Andrew Jackson came into Indian Land ranked sixth in the state (for AA schools) with a 9-2 record, and only two losses. One was a March 7 tournament loss to the Warriors, and the other a 9-0 drubbing at the hands of the nation's top team, Northwestern.

Meanwhile, Indian Land is on course to try and make an undefeated run through their schedule, and did not want to be knocked off track by a rival team.

"It's definitely one of our goals," Cole said about making it through the season without a loss. "This is one of the teams we have to beat to keep it going. AJ is a great team. It was good to get this win right before the guys go on break."

Esparrago said he is more than happy to do his part - scoring absurd amounts of goals - to continue the Warriors' run.

"It feels great to help the team. I do it for the team, not for me," he said. "Winning games is the best part."

Against Andrew Jackson, Esparrago opened the scoring in the 15th minute, when he took the ball in the right corner, dribbled around a defender along the end line, and bounced the ball off the opposite post and into the goal.

"I was planning to do that. I didn't think it would work because of the angle- but it went in," Esparrago said with a grin.

He followed it up with a strike from about 20 feet in the 22nd minute to give the Warriors a 2-0 halftime lead.

The other two goals both came in the final ten minutes, as Esparrago's speed finally began to get the best of the Volunteers' defense, and he broke away from them twice to widen the lead to three.

After the students return from spring break, the Warriors close out the final four games of their season, one of which is a rematch with the Volunteers, at Andrew Jackson, on April 23.

"We're practicing hard and we are motivated for every game," Esparrago said. "We'll keep winning. We're able to and we will."

Lady Warriors win

In Indian Land girls action, the Lady Warriors defeated Andrew Jackson 2-0, both goals being scored by junior Sarah Adams.

"Sarah stepped it up - she was great all night," Head Coach Mark Bonda said. "The first goal she took all the way in by herself."

Bonda said he thought the defense stepped up in a big way and was a primary reason the Warriors won the match.

After handing the Volunteers only their second loss of the season, Indian Land will play them again April 23 at Andrew Jackson, beginning at 6 p.m., before the boys match.