It has been an up and down season for the Golden Knights boys soccer team. A year removed from a 10-4-1 record, Sussex Central finds themselves at 6 victories with only 2 games to go in the 2012 campaign.
While they have shown flashes of last year’s promise, winning 4 games by shutout, the Golden Knights were at a low-point heading into their match up with Smyrna on Monday night. Central entered the game having gone winless in their last four games, including three straight losses.
Early on against the Eagles it seemed as if the story of the Golden Knights season would again reign true. Despite putting on some solid offensive pressure in the first half, the Golden Knights would watch Chancellor Hemphill tally the first goal of the game at the 20:00 minute mark to give Smyrna the early lead.
At 49:00 Walter Perez would tie the game up for the Golden Knights off the setup from Alberto Sosa.
To this point, Central had taken the majority of the play to the Eagles but had only a 1-1 score to show for it. They were held in check by missed opportunities and some solid goaltending from Smyrna senior Jacob Stoner, who finished with 14 saves.
However, at the 71:00 minute mark, Sussex Central would find the lead and a Golden Knight would tie an important record.
Alberto Sosa scored on a PK to give the Golden Knights the lead, 2-1. Not only was it the go-ahead and eventual game-winner, but Sosa’s goal would tie an all-time Golden Knights record. It was Sosa’s 55th career goal, tying the mark made by former Golden Knight player and current Athletic Director Brian Parker.
It was an emotional win for the Knights, and a special one for Alberto and his teammates.
“It was very important for us to win tonight,” said Golden Knights Head Coach Patrick Kilby. “We blew leads against Polytech, Dover and Wilmington Christian, this season we lost to Seaford in double OT with 20 seconds left; missed a PK in OT versus Polytech. We were unable to finish of opponents this season and that is why we are fighting to stay around. 500.”
With only two games remaining in a season that’s gotten away from them, the Golden Knights look to finish strong.
“We need to make sure that we are strong defensively, make better decisions with the ball in high pressure situations,” said Kilby. “If we have the opportunity to put a team away then we need to do so.”
The Golden Knights will wrap up their regular season this Thursday when they host Milford starting at 6:30 p.m.
Alberto Sosa’s tying mark
Alberto Sosa scored his 55th career goal for the Golden Knights last night, tying the all-time record held by Brian Parker.
Parker, the Athletic Director at Sussex Central, held the mark for the last 18 years but coming into this season he knew it might be in jeopardy.
“(Coach Kilby) and I talked about it being a possibility,” said Parker. “Actually I think the coach and I discussed it when he was a freshman that we needed to keep an eye on the record. Both Alberto and I scored our 40th goal in the first game of our senior year.”
Parker has built a relationship with Sosa over the last four years, and is proud to share the record with him, for now.
“From my perspective, it’s pretty special,” said Parker. “I’ve been able to get to know Alberto over his 4 years as a student-athlete. I think it’s rare to have a connection with the person who is pursuing your record. I also like the exposure the sport and the team have gotten because of this.”
Sosa will have two more opportunities to break the record, Tuesday against Indian River and Thursday against Milford.
“I don’t think anyone hopes that their record gets broken,” said Parker. “I actually joked with him the other day that I wouldn’t mind sharing it. But as I said before it’s pretty cool to be able to go through the experience with him and to be connected in a way. I definitely think I’ve gotten too much attention, it’s all about him now.”
Just tying the record is major accomplishment for Sosa. His Head Coach Patrick Kilby has worked with Sosa for the last 7 years and is proud of his achievement.
“(It’s) a huge accomplishment for Alberto. He has been the backbone of this program for 4 years,” said Kilby. “I have had the privilege of coaching Alberto for three years before he entered high school at River Soccer Club. I knew that when I was offered this job that I could build the program around him. Alberto has brought attention to this program though the community and has made SC soccer relevant again.”