EAST LAKE — When the season started, East Lake’s Josh Page was a newcomer from Pennsylvania and Nicholas Vetricek was warming the bench. Since then, Page has emerged as a top scoring threat and Vetricek worked his way onto the field.
That dangerous duo was on display Friday night in the Eagles’ 5-0 win over district rival Countryside. Vetricek scored two goals and Page added two of his own and an assist.
“We needed to win this district game,” Page said. “We really worked hard in practice and prepared well. Then when the game started we did what we had to do and thankfully I was able to score some goals.”
After a few near misses, East Lake got on the board in the 19th minute. Vetricek found some space inside the 18-yard box and got off a left-footer that skidded underneath goalkeeper Logan Schultz.
The Eagles (8-2-1) were able to score 10 minutes later thanks to a perfectly placed through ball by Bruno Scafidi. His pass went onto the foot of Page, who flicked it in from less than 10 yards out.
“After I got that first goal it got my confidence up,” Page said.
The second half was more of the same. East Lake’s crisp passing set up several chances. A prime example came in the 47th minute when Page gave a nice give and go pass to Vetricek, who ran past the Countryside defense and buried a right-footer from 25 yards.
“Nicholas really stepped up tonight,” East Lake coach Alex Stenson said. “He didn’t start at the beginning of the year, but he has worked hard and it looks like he’ll be one of our main strikers now.”
The fourth goal came on a set piece. Mathias Ghiena took a corner kick and lined it 5 yards in front of the net. Page raced in and redirected it past Schultz for his second goal.
The final goal came in the 67th minute when Countryside’s defense failed to clear a loose ball in front of the net. The clearance attempt went right to Stephen Wankat, who buried a left-footer from 15 yards into the lower-right corner.
East Lake outshot Countryside 14-5.
“We’re a young team but we’re getting better,” said Countryside coach Sean Nolan, whose team falls to 4-4-4. “We just need experience at this point. I think it may take a little bit of time, but we’ll get back to the Countryside teams people are used to seeing.”
In the girls game, East Lake defeated Countryside 4-0. The Eagles (12-3) scored twice in the first half on goals by Madison Del Duca, her 17th and 18th of the season.
In the second half, East Lake’s defense frustrated the Cougars (2-5-1) while the offense kept up the pressure. The hard work paid off in the final 10 minutes with two more goals. Maggie Amos scored from 20 yards out on an assist by Elisha Holmes to make it 3-0. And in the final minutes, Holmes blasted a shot from about 10 yards to make it 4-0.