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Fleming Island Sophomore Stymies Bobcats

Written by Lee Roggenburg on . Posted in .
By Mike Zima, Correspondent Sophomore Korbin Hamilton saved twelve of fifteen shots on goal to support a stifling effort by the Fleming Island defense as the Golden Eagles downed visiting Gainesville Buchholz 9-3 Friday night. “Their goalie was lights-out, and played a fantastic game,” said Buchholz coach Casey Adams.  “The best we have seen all year.” Hamilton saved all five Buchholz shots on goal in the first two quarters and made seven more saves in the second half, finishing with a sparkling .800 save percentage.  He had help from the Golden Eagles defense, particularly long stick middie Justin Szafranski and defender Zane Phillips.  Szafranski led Fleming Island with six ground balls and three forced turnovers, while Phillips held Corey Horner, the Bobcats top scorer entering the game, without a goal in man-to-man defense.  The Bobcats’ inability to get around or through Fleming Island’s defense forced them into long-range, low quality shots. Buchholz goalie Connor Burns matched Hamilton save-for-save for a quarter and a half, but eventually wilted under constant fire.  The Golden Eagles’ Max Michaels opened the scoring by scooping up a loose ball in front of the crease and shoveling it into the net. Forty seconds later, Eric Dobson scored from long range off of a feed from Szafranski, giving the hosts a 2-0 halftime lead. Dobson, a freshman, and Patrick Schreiber finished with hat tricks for the Golden Eagles.  Schreiber scored both of Fleming Island’s goals in the third quarter, one off of an assist by Dobson, as the hosts took a 4-1 lead.  The Golden Eagles put the game away with four consecutive goals between the 7:27 mark and the 2:02 mark of fourth quarter.  Schreiber started the run by finishing a fast break started by Szafranski, while Dobson ended it with another long-range laser. Scotty Sorgi, Dawson Kizzar and Chad Jones scored goals for the Bobcats, who played without four starters due to injury or student government conflicts.  Burns finished with 11 saves. Entering Friday’s contest having dropped four of their last five games and having been eliminated from post-season play, Fleming Island coach John Hawley delivered an ultimatum at an hour-long team meeting Thursday. “I told them, ‘We can either throw in the towel, or we can roll up our sleeves and go after it,’” said Hawley. The Golden Eagles responded with their best effort of the season, dominating possession against a team that had beaten them in 2016 and which entered this game with a 5-2 record.  Fleming Island took eight of the game’s first nine shots, and nine of the first 12. “We played with a lot more intensity, and we were a lot more disciplined,” said Hawley. “Hopefully this will be a kick start for the rest of the season.” Both teams return to action on Tuesday, March 7.  Fleming Island, now 3-4, hosts St. Augustine in a non-district game, while Buchholz entertains Newberry in a District 3 contest.