Shark boys mercy Clay on Senior Night


Special to the Recorder

The Ponte Vedra boys’ soccer team celebrated Senor Night last Thursday with an impressive 8-0 mercy rule shutout of the Clay High School Blue Devils. Senior Jack Bingemann was the Sharks’ top scorer, completing the “the three-goal hat-trick.”

The win improved the Sharks’ record to 5-0-1 in class 3A district 4 play and 13-2-3 overall. Earlier in the week, the boys lost 3-0 to non-district foe Fleming Island – only the team’s second loss of the season. Their other defeat also came at the hands of a non-district opponent Oakleaf, 3-0; and the only blemish on their district record is a December tie against Matanzas.

The Sharks started early against the Blue Devils when Bingemann came down the left wing and beat the keeper with a shot into the far side of the goal seven minutes in. Bingemann made it 2-0 five minutes later, converting a cross from senior Donovan Crowley.

Sophomore Michael Gambuzza put Ponte Vedra up by three when he banged home his own rebound with 11 minutes left in the half.

Things went downhill fast for the visitors in the second half. Junior Steven Sifontes beat the Devil keeper with a quick move at the 4-minute mark. Less than two minutes later sophomore Nate Fordham deked the keeper out of position to put Ponte Vedra up 5-0.

Sifontes registered his second goal of the night at the 27-minute mark, then three minutes after taking the lead 6-0, Bingemann added his third goal of the game. It came when senior Ethan Penn sent a low cross in front of the net to Bingemann who made a horizontal dive to head the ball into the open goal.

Penn’s goal at the 17-minute mark put Ponte Vedra in front 8-0, mercifully ending the game.

The eight Shark seniors – Bingemann, Penn, Carson King, Andre Mauriello, Josh Greene, Joe Gravelle, Crowley and Lucas Nomura – and their parents received flowers to honor the Senior Night occasion.