Judging by the final score one would probably have a hard time believing Jacksonville was forced to take on Marshall Friday night at the Historic Tomato Bowl minus the services of three starters, who were unable to suit out due to injury.
The Tribe weathered the storm and improved to 10-4-1, 2-1 by manhandling the Mavericks, 6-0.
“I was worried coming into the game with three of our key guys out with injuries,” Jacksonville Tribe head soccer coach Rudy Jaramillo said. “I am glad we had the next man up mentality, and that some of our other guys were able to step up and show what they could do.”
Jose Garcia spearheaded the Tribe win by earning a hat trick, his first as a varsity player.
Garcia booted in three goals, all in the second half to earn the gem.
The Tribe led 2-0 after the first 40 minutes.
Gabriel Garcia got Jacksonville on the board at the 23:18 mark of the first half when he scored on a header from 5-yards out, which came on a Tribe throw in.
Jaylon Freeney collected a rebound from about 3-yards out in front of the goal and tapped the ball in from the Tribe's second goal of the half.
When Marshall (0-3 in district) came out flat as a board to start the final half, the Tribe quickly went to work to put the match away early.
Jacksonville got off five shots, with two of those getting past the Mav keeper for goals in the first 1:58 of the second half, enabling the Blue and White to quickly double their lead to 4-0.
Freeney punched in his second goal of the evening with 39:01 showing on the clock when he knocked the ball in from about 15 yards out, left side.
Fifty nine ticks later Jose Garcia notched his first score of the match when he deposited the ball into the goal from close range.
After he chipped in another close range shot off of a Cooper Coughlin assist, Jacksonville went ahead, 5-0.
The last goal of the evening came with 11:23 left to play when Jose Garcia drilled a shot in from about 15 yards out, which gave him the hat trick.
Juan Hernandez and Ramiro Garcia combined for the clean sheet in goal for Jacksonville. Hernandez got the start and Ramiro Garcia came in to play the final 25:40, gaining valuable varsity experience.
Jacksonville had 41 shots (19 on goal) compared to Marshall's 10 (4 on goal).
The Tribe are slated to visit Nacogdoches on Tuesday. The Dragons, who played Lufkin to a 2-2 draw on Friday, are 12-3-4, 1-0-2.
“I've been saying all along how good Nacogdoches is,” Jaramillo said. “We have a lot of respect for them.
“I don't know if we will have any of our injured guys back or not. Nacogdoches is not a team that you would want to face short handed, but injuries are a part of the game and you can't control when they happen.”