Lee-Davis’ junior forward, Raymundo Mascias-Murillo, speaks very little English, but he’s extremely fluent in the universal language of soccer.
“He came out of the blue, and we’re real excited to have him,” said Lee-Davis boys soccer coach Brian Ellwood.
Murillo, fighting amongst taller Atlee defenders, found a way to line the ball into the back of the net in the 55th minute, giving Lee-Davis an important early season Capital District win at home, 3-2 over the Raiders on Thursday night in Mechanicsville.
“He’s crafty. When he has the ball, he can play with two or three guys. He’s not in the flow of our system yet, but when you get him the ball, he can do something special,” Ellwood noted.
Ellwood and the returning players from 2012 remember losing a 1-0 halftime lead to Atlee in a 3-1 loss in the Capital District tournament that ended the Confederates’ season at just 8-9. Holding serve at home in the district, is huge.
Junior Evan Tyler got things going for Lee-Davis with a goal in the eighth minute to open the scoring, but the Raiders responded as T.J. Warren scored just four minutes later to tie the game. In the 35th minute, a Lee-Davis cross was defended by Atlee goalkeeper Trevor Jordan, but couldn’t clear the ball. The rebound found its way to Brian Garnett, who slammed it home to give the home team a 2-1 halftime lead.
“We had three shots in a row, and it came back to me,” Garnett said. “We do a drill in practice called power finesse, and it really works well for plays like that.”
Co-captain Connor Hulser got Atlee on the board just four minutes into the second half, tying the game at 2-2, setting the stage for Mascias-Murillo. In the 55th minute, in the offensive zone, he was able to get control of the ball amidst multiple blue jerseys, finding a seam to fire the ball past Jordan for the game-winner. Fittingly, to finish the play, as he saw the ball tickle the net, he broke into a celebratory cartwheel. The Lee-Davis fans loved it, and so did his teammates.
“He’s a team favorite, for sure,” Ellwood said.
The Confederates entered spring break 1-0 in the Capital, 3-0 overall, confident, and ready to face Varina on the road Tuesday.
The Raiders fell to 0-1-1 in district play, 0-2-1 overall and must regroup during the break to get ready for back-to-back home games, Tuesday against district rival Highland Springs, and Wednesday against James River, one of the top five teams in the Central Region.
In girls action earlier on a frigid Thursday, Atlee spent most of the game in the offensive zone, peppering Lee-Davis goalkeeper Bethany Rusticelli all evening en route to a 6-0 win. Rusticelli made an impressive 23 saves against the Raiders, while counterpart Jordan Smith of Atlee only made one. Brooke Jerman opened the scoring for the Raiders, as five different players tallied, including two goals for Lindsay Wilkins. Atlee is 1-0 in the Capital, 2-1 overall and travel to Highland Springs Tuesday and to 4-1 James River Wednesday.
Lee-Davis, playing their first game since their season opening win over Hopewell 14 days earlier, fell to 0-1, 1-1 and will return to action Tuesday at home versus Varina at 7 p.m.