The Hinesville Gators Green Team continued its winning streak in last weekend’s Savannah Cup. It was the final tournament of the season and the team was intent on glory.
“We shut everyone out,” coach Tom Sukaratana said. “Not one goal was scored from the opposing teams during the entire tournament. A great deal of credit goes to the defense that made this happen.”
Defense and good fortune played a role as the Gators traveled to Savannah without four of their regular starters and top scorers.
“Our starting goalie, Zachary Vasquez, was out of town as was John Paul Padilla and Matthew Fussell,” he said. “Our second leading scorer, Stanford Graham, was at home with pneumonia.”
On a chilly Saturday morning, the Gators took the field against the Effingham County Jaguars. Tyler Causer led the scoring drives with three goals. One was off an assist by Brooke Standard who later scored a goal of her own. Clark Sukaratana sealed the victory with another two goals assisted by Causer. The Gators went on to shutout the Jaguars, 6-0.
In their second game of the day, the Gators went on to disintegrate the Savannah Disintegrator by a score of 10-0. Causer scored another three goals, two assisted by Standard.
Standard and Sukaratana each scored two goals. Asyria Daniels scored a goal with an assist. Ricky Gilliard and DeShawn Jackson each scored a goal. Jackson’s goal was on a penalty kick after being fouled by a Disintegrator player.
The following morning, the Gators continued to strike hard and fast as they shutout the Savannah Hawks with an 8-0 victory.
“We had a new player go to Savannah with us due to our starters being out,” Sukaratana said. “His name is Tyler Buckley and he scored two goals in the game against the Hawks.”
Robert Miller scored two goals in the game. Standard scored one goal and one assist, as did Causer and Sukaratana. Daniels had one goal while Gilliard and Kelsey Higgason had two assists.
The victory meant the Gators had to face the Disintegrators once again for the final championship game.
Not one to crumble under pressure, the Gators faced the challenge valiantly and once again closed out their opponent with a 7-0 victory, earning them the championship title.
Sukaratana played hard and had a few tricks up his sleeve that enabled him to score three goals, one of which was shot from 40 yards out. Cause had one assist and two goals. Kasey Smith scored a goal while Standard scored a goal and assisted on two. Daniels assisted on a goal.
“Overall, they played excellent,” Coach Sukaratana said. “They controlled all the games and executed well. The best game was the Saturday game against the Disintegrators because they played together as a team.
“This is our first time as a co-ed team and we had a fantastic season really playing well as a unit. It’s wonderful. I’m very proud,” he said.
Tom Sukaratana contributed to the story.