FOR THE DAILY SOUTHERNER
Leshaun Jenkins planted a lot of seeds last season when he took over the Tarboro Vikings girl's soccer program. He has plans of rebuilding it into a powerhouse so that his girls can compete at very high level.
Tuesday night was the beginning of the harvest of what he began to plant last season and it showed when his Vikings dominated the entire match and defeated the Rocky Mount Prep Jaguars 8-0 in non-conference action.
Shayla Thorne was the biggest part of the offensive attack. She scored five goals and made it known why she was selected to the All-Region team last year.
"The funny thing is Shayla hasn't gotten her soccer legs under her yet," Jenkins said. "She is still working on her touch for the ball and that just goes to show what type of player she is going to be for us this season."
Jenkins thinks once Thorne gets her wind and gets back into soccer shape she is going to have another dynamic season. Jenkins has high expectations of Thorne this year. She believes she is going to be good enough with another years experience that she will probably make the All-State team.
Tarboro dominated control of the ball from the outset. They didn't score their first goal of the match until halfway through the first half when Thorne crossed the ball over to her left foot and then back to her right and blasted a shot past the Jaguars goal keeper. Six minutes later, Thorne was at it again, when she found light between her and Jaguars goalie and took a shot on goal from five feet out that squeezed by the goalie to give Tarboro a 2-0 lead.
Five minutes into the second half, Julie Hayes found the back of the net when she was pushed inside the penalty box and was given a penalty kick. Three minutes after that, Thorne scored her third goal of the match and six minutes later she scored her fourth of the game to give Tarboro a 5-0 lead. Thorne wasn't done. She found the back of the net in an open goal for her fifth goal of the match. Hayes added another goal and Anna Johnson scored to end the scoring.
"I thought we got out a little slow, but I know the girls were real excited about their first game of the season though," Jenkins said. "We gutted out the rain and played through it."
Jenkins thought his girls needed a mental toughness game from the outset.
"I think the wet and cold weather made us tougher since we played through it like we did," Jenkins said. "I told my team once the season got in the swing of things, they could play through anything if they could tough it out tonight."
Tarboro was just as aggressive defensively as they were offensively. They only allowed the Jaguars to take two shots on goal and the first one didn't come until their was eight minutes left in the match.
Jenkins was proud with the way his defense performed the entire game. He didn't lose any players from last years team and is looking for senior Chandler Harris to lead to them again defensively.
"I think the quality of our play got better once the game went on," Jenkins said. "We were very aggressive from the beginning and I think we are a great starting point."
The aggression Jenkins was referring to was the 12 offsides penalties they had called against them. The Vikings tried to get the ball over the top to the front line and the Jaguars would move their defenders up and force Tarboro to wait for the pass at the last second. Once the game began to roll along, the Vikings were able to manage their penalties and made adjustments.
Tarboro only allowed the Jaguars to take two shots the entire match.