Barely had the echoes of the match-opening whistle silenced Tuesday when Polk County scored its first goal of the season.
Barely had the cheers from that tally subsided when the Wolverines added their second.
That initial volley proved vital for Polk County as the Wolverines survived an Enka rally to claim a 4-3 victory in their season opener at G.M. Tennant Stadium.
A near-perfect evening weather-wise also produced a near-perfect opening flurry for Polk. Isaac Edwards launched a blast into the net just 10 seconds after kickoff – “we’re going to check and see if that’s a school record, if we have a record for that,” said head coach Josh Trejo – and Grayson Jones added another score in the fourth minute, an electric start to the season.
“We came out with intensity,” Trejo said. “We were looking forward to playing yesterday (the match postponed due to rain), so today, we had to build that momentum back up.
“Overall, I’m very proud of the boys. After the way we finished the season last year (reaching the 1A Western Regional final), coming into this year, we needed something to fire us up. I’m very satisfied with the work we did tonight. That’s a pretty darn good team we just beat.”
Alan Mejia added another goal later in the first half, picking up a free ball in Enka’s end and chipping it past the goalkeeper to give the Wolverines a 3-0 lead at the half. A couple of nice saves by Polk goalkeeper Greyson Ball helped preserve the lead, including a series late in the half when Ball turned aside an Enka shot with his foot, then moved and deflected a follow-up shot with both fists.
But the Jets (0-1) didn’t remain silent for long in the second half, scoring twice in a span of six minutes to cut Polk’s lead to one. Noel Diaz-Moreno then evened the match in the 60th minute, pounding a drive home from the right wing for his second goal of the night and evening the score.
Polk County, though, answered almost immediately. The Wolverines launched a deep high pass toward the Enka goal, with Jones and two Jet defenders racing for the ball. Jones, slightly ahead of the group, wound up falling hard to the turf in the penalty area, drawing a foul and subsequent penalty kick.
Matias Akers took the penalty and calmly drilled it into the lower half of the net for what proved to be the game-winning goal.
“We kept our composure and hung in there, and we good to see us perform like that,” Trejo said.
Polk County continues its non-conference schedule on Thursday, going on the road to face West Henderson.