Tigers score seven goals in second half, win home opener

Adam Brooker scored four goals in the second half to push Demopolis to an 8-3 win in its home opener Monday.

Adam Brooker scored four goals in the second half to push Demopolis to an 8-3 win in its home opener Monday.

It was a tale of two halves Monday night as Demopolis won its home opener 8-3 over Holy Spirit.

Despite the Tigers possessing the ball for the majority of the first half, Holy Spirit’s Matthew Fuller connected on a goal with 10:12 to go before intermission to put his team up 1-0.

Tony Velez later fired a shot that appeared to be caught by the Holy Spirit keeper. The ball then trickled out of the keeper’s hands, allowing Zachary Chu to put it into the net to get the Tigers on the board with 5:57 left before half.

“Zach Chu is a smart soccer player and he’s that guy who can find the loose ones,” Demopolis coach Bert Rice said. “Not everybody has got that knack for the ball but he is a really clutch player so far this season and I hope he has a few more like that.”

Cristian "Tony" Velez racked up three assists and his 11th goal of the season Monday.

Cristian “Tony” Velez racked up three assists and his 11th goal of the season Monday.

As the second half started, so too did UAB signee Adam Brooker. The senior banged in a goal off a Velez assist with 39:22 remaining on the clock before cashing in a Chu assist with 38:06 showing to go up 3-1.

“Any time you’re in a tie ball game and you get two to put you ahead, of course it’s refreshing. That adds excitement,” Rice said. “Brooker is a heck of a player and he’s kind of our team leader, go-to guy. When he comes through, everybody else just kind of falls in line. I think he lit the spark that kind of started the fire.”

Patrick Rosales made good on a Velez pass with 29:47 to play in the match, putting his team up 4-1. At the 22:55 mark, Clay McVay turned a Velez pass into a goal to stretch the advantage to 5-1. Brooker added two more unassisted efforts in the game while Velez scored an unassisted goal with 4:41 to play. Judson Bullard and Brandon Fuller added goals for Holy Spirit.

Velez, the team’s leading goal scorer, tallied three assists in the contest.

“Tony is a phenomenal soccer player. What I love about Tony is, Tony is our leading goal scorer, but Tony is always looking to get somebody else a goal first. He has done that in every game. This one, I think, kind of showed more because he didn’t score four, but in every other game he is scoring four and assisting three or four times. Tony opens up a lot for us.”

Demopolis (6-1) is set to play Wednesday at Paul Bryant at 5:30.

DEMOPOLIS 2016 GOAL TALLY

Cristian Velez – 11

Adam Brooker – 10

Zachary Chu – 4

Clay McVay – 3

Alex Maravilla – 2

Smit Patel – 1

J.C. McVay – 1

Patrick Rosales – 1