For a half, Monticello and Fluvanna’s boys soccer clash Monday night proceeded pretty normally, and in favor of the Flucos, with Fluvanna building a three-goal lead at halftime.
It took less than a minute into the second half for the game to become a wild one, with Monticello reeling off the first of five-straight second half goals to win 5-3 over the Flucos. The run wasn’t a function of a major halftime adjustment. Instead, it was about Monticello staying the course despite a mounting deficit.
“We have a style of play we’re trying to achieve, we’re learning that and it showed up in the second half,” said Monticello coach Stuart Pierson. “We didn’t change a thing, we have confidence in what we’re doing.”
Fabricio Turios and Luis Lopez gave the Mustangs a charge offensively, with Turios striking first on that early second half goal to get Monticello on track and put Fluvanna on its heels. Then Lopez scored, pulling Monticello within a goal. That rally was a natural outgrowth of the Mustangs not letting game situations rattle them.
“There’s a big difference in getting beat and giving up a goal and in this case we gave up a couple of goals, they weren’t being beat,” Pierson said. “The maturity is now growing and they’re recognizing that.”
Then with around 15 minutes to play, Turios and Lopez connected, with Turios unleashing a big cross from the left side that found Lopez’s head for a header finish and a tie game on a fantastic goal. At that point, a series of unsanctioned fireworks went off behind Monticello’s stadium, confusing most everyone in attendances. Monticello didn’t lose focus though, and Connor Morris finished the go-ahead goal on another Turios cross that Lopez redirected to Morris. With under 15 minutes to play, Monticello was up 4-3, with Turios adding a second goal with 11 minutes left to increase the lead and put the game out of reach for the Flucos.
A physical incident followed shortly after that fifth goal with a player from each side getting ejected in what had quickly become a contentious game as the Mustangs made their comeback, capping the wild second half.
That half erased a stellar start by the Flucos, with goals by Emory Davis, Maurico Castillo and Alexander Scalzo. Davis got the Flucos started by drawing an early foul in the box to pick up a penalty kick that Scalzo finished.
“We were playing how we wanted to play, we were knocking the ball around a little bit,” said Fluvanna coach Earl Gibson. “We got just way too direct in the second half and fell into more the style they play and they’re way better at their style than we are.”
Fluvanna will look to bounce back against Albemarle in a challenging road game Thursday while Monticello travels to take on Louisa County the same night.