After not having a win in a week, the Grand Island Senior High boys soccer team found the spark it needed right away.
Freshman forward Javier Baide scored a goal from 20 yards just four minutes into the game. That helped the Class A preseason No. 5-rated Islanders roll to a 6-1 win over Norfolk Monday at Memorial Stadium.
Baide and Moises Jacobo each scored a pair of goals, while Ernesto Gamez had a goal and three assists for Grand Island.
GISH coach Jeremy Jensen said Baide’s early goal was important, especially after giving up four goals in a 20-minute span in the second half of a 5-1 loss to Omaha South on Saturday.
“It was good to get the taste of Saturday out of our mouths,” he said. “Getting these kids to believe in themselves that they are a special group is important, so anything positive early like that is always nice to see.”
Grand Island also had the advantage of having played three games already, while Norfolk had only one game due to rescheduling three games in the first week because of the weather.
“That’s unfortunate for them but that gives us a massive advantage because it’s given us time to tweak things, figure out a few rotations, tactics and all that,” Jensen said.
The Islanders didn’t let up after Baide’s first goal. Grand Island kept Norfolk goalkeeper Andrew Cudmore busy. Cudmore was able to block some shots and dive to get some saves for the Panthers.
But Grand Island gained complete control in a span of two minutes at the midway point of the first half. Najib Omar made it 2-0 with a header off an assist from Baide.
Two minutes later, Jacobo got a ball to sneak by Cudmore for a 3-0 lead. With under a minute to play of the first half, Jacobo earned his second goal of the half for a 4-0 halftime lead.
But in the second half, Norfolk controlled possession for most of the early part of the stanza and came out firing right away.
Even though Islander goalkeeper Juan Castro got his hand on a lot of balls, Kealan Kucera found a seam and got the ball to go in to cut into Grand Island’s lead with under 23 minutes left to play.
But the Islanders responded four minutes later as Baide scored his second goal. Gamez completed the scoring with a goal with 10 minutes remaining in the game.
Jensen said even though it was good to see Grand Island (2-2) get back on the winning track with the victory, the Islanders still needed to remain positive as there is still plenty of season left to play.
“There’s no need for us to panic even after those two losses last week,” Jensen said. “We’re still a good team. We have to develop our depth and I think we’re starting to do that. We have some guys that are stepping up.
“But there were times where we got complacent today, especially in the second half and I hate it. Great teams find a way to put the game away and we’re not satisfied of being a good team. I think there’s too much at stake. We want an opportunity to play Omaha South again at the state tournament in May. We have a lot of things to work on but I think we’re on the right track.”
The Islanders host Hastings Thursday.
Norfolk 2, Grand Island 0
Grand Island Senior High girls fell to 1-4 on the season.
The Islanders gave up a goal in each half during a 2-0 loss to Norfolk Monday in Norfolk.
GISH goalkeeper Quincy Gomez had 15 saves.
Grand Island hosts Hastings Thursday.