Michael Herring was coaching his first game at the helm of Blue Ridge on Tuesday afternoon, but no one in the crowd would have known by watching
Blue Ridge kicked off its season with a 21-2 win on the road over Covenant, getting four goals each from Shane Ford, Keegan Kozack and Tyler Ewen. The Barons scored three goals in a three-minute span midway through the first to help themselves take a 5-0 lead after one and ended up scoring the first 12 goals of the game.
“The way we do things is very different from how they’ve done them in the past, so it’s been a challenge for the boys,” Herring said. “It’s been a long developmental process for us, and today was a day to be able to make some mistakes, but still put some goals in and be okay with it.”
Covenant finally touched the scoreboard with 1:22 to play before halftime when Luke Sorenson ripped through the Baron defense and found the back of the net, injecting some life into an Eagle offense that had been comatose to that point.
“We have some guys that are new to their positions, or even new to the sport,” Covenant coach Chris Gilbert said. “Our goal was to focus on who we are and what we do–we’re pretty shorthanded, but we try not to let that bother us.”
But Blue Ridge held the Eagles scoreless in the third again while tallying seven of their own, spreading their remaining nine goals between four different players in a balanced offensive attack. Sorenson added another late in the fourth to give the Eagles one tally in each half.
“We didn’t show everything today, because we didn’t need to, but the style we play is about as different as you can get from how we used to play,” Herring said. “But we’re learning, and we’re getting there.”