By G. Demarest
East Mountain High’s Elijah Jaffe matched a school record with four goals and teammate Slate Gunter added three more, while Yvette Vallejos scored three goals for the girls, as both soccer squads picked up victories last Thursday over the visiting Gallup Bengals.
Gunter scored all three of his goals in the first half; Jaffe scored his first goal 15 minutes into the game and then was unstoppable during the second half as the Timberwolves won 7-1.
Twice Jaffe came close to scoring a fifth goal but one of the shots went wide and the other hit the goal post.
“I was going for the most goals scored in a single game, I wanted it so bad,” Jaffe said.
Gunter added, “We’ve been working really well together—we played soccer together in the third grade for the AYSO Green Hornets—so we’ve got good chemistry.”
T’Wolves head coach Frank Trusiano echoed his players: “Overall I think it was a great team victory, our team chemistry is really coming along.”
The girls’ 6-1 victory over the Lady Bengals preceded the boys’ game with Vallejos almost not getting credit for the Lady T’Wolves’ first goal.
Vallejos kicked the ball past the Gallup goal keeper and it took a big bounce inside, and then out of the goal, where Adriana Duran tapped it in.
There was some momentary confusion as to who actually scored the goal.
“I was like, ‘No!’” Vallejos said, thinking she would get an assist instead of a goal on the play. “And then the side ref said it went in on my kick, so it was good.”
Jessie Linder, who just joined the team a few weeks ago, hit a pair of goals—her first for the varsity team—and Cassidy Pino chipped in one to complete East Mountain’s scoring.
Linder, who played soccer years ago, said she joined the Lady T’Wolves because, “They needed more players and I missed playing.”
The girls squad was informed Monday that head coach Brian Pecorella resigned.
Both East Mountain soccer squads hosted Robertson Tuesday after The Independent went to print.
Ger has been writing and shooting photos of high school sports for The Independent for 15 years. His dedication to youth athletics goes beyond sports reporting. He is past president of East Mountain Little League and works as a baseball umpire. He lives in Edgewood with his family.