Thompson, Gollo guide Seabury soccer

In countries like Britain and Brazil, the sport of soccer goes by a different name. But no matter how they refer to the game, Seabury Academy’s Simon Thompson and Otavio Gollo sure know how it’s played.

Thompson, a native of Britain, and Gollo, a newly transfered student from Brazil, led the Seabury squad to a 4-2 victory over Atchison at Youth Sports Inc.

“I’d say Simon and Otavio help us out quite a bit,” Seabury coach Gunar Harmon said. “They’re experienced, they’re instinctive, they come from countries where they learn the game before they can walk. And that really pays off a lot of times. And I’m really grateful to have that kind of quality of players to add – especially considering we have so few players.”

Atchison scored a quick goal in the first half, but Thompson tied the game eight minutes later off a poor goal kick.

The Seahawks quickly jumped ahead when Gollo recorded his first goal for Seabury – in his second game and first as a starter – less than two minutes later.

“I got a chance to take the ball and help the team,” Gollo said. “Because I’m new here … they don’t know very well how I play.”

At the half, Harmon planned on tinkering with the team’s game plan – something that was quickly shot down by co-captain Scott King.

“He spoke up and said ‘Changing of the formation isn’t the answer’ and we went with what we started with and it paid off,” Harmon said. “I give kudos to Scottie for being a leader and speaking for the team, and that was a very good choice.”

It paid off eight minutes into the second when Gollo fed Cody Jones for a goal.

“Otavio’s been a bit of a miracle really,” Thompson said. “I think, maybe, he’s given us a bit of confidence. I suppose it’s a Brazilian-type thing – they are considered to be really good at (soccer).”

And, just as in the first half, the Seabury’s final two scores came within two minutes of one another. Thompson, again, picked up a loose ball in front of an empty net and capped off the Seahawks’ night.

“I wasn’t expecting that one at all,” Thompson said. “I actually didn’t hit it. I actually didn’t see it myself, because I fell over. But I guess it took an awkward bounce over someone’s foot, and that was a pretty lucky one, to be honest.”

In the final 20 minutes of play, things began to get a bit dicey for the home team as Atchison beat the defenders to put multiple shots on goal and score a second goal on keeper Philip Anderson.

“We were tired and they had a lot of energy – they looked to be very fit,” Harmon said.

Thompson added, “That’s a fitness issue. We’re not the fittest team and we’re working on it, practically training every day. … We came back from summer totally out of shape. Fitness is improving, skills are improving and it shows at the end of the game. But hopefully, in a couple of games we’ll be up to scratch.”