By Kim DeRaedt
When it rains, it pours. When it rains, Roy Hernandez scores?
Not necessarily. Hernandez doesn’t need any special weather conditions to launch one of his trademark scoring storms, but the rain certainly didn’t hurt matters.
As quickly as Mother Nature sent cold and wet weather to dampen what was supposed to be a packed Pirate SC home opener against Corpus Christi Fuel, Hernandez took it upon himself to ensure that those who braved the elements did not leave disappointed. With a 5-0 victory dedicated almost entirely to his name, the Pirate SC captain was the irrefutable bright spot on an otherwise dreary afternoon at Courville Stadium in Galveston. As Pirate SC gathered at midfield to celebrate its victory and the sun timely broke through the clouds, a rainbow cast over the stadium. Hernandez stopped and smiled. The mystery behind Roy G. Biv has been solved.
Who needs rainbows when Pirate SC has Hernandez as its lucky omen? Indeed, if Hernandez’s hat-trick is any forecaster of the team’s fate, there may be some gold medals at the end of Galveston’s rainbow when the Southern Premier Soccer League (SPSL) final is contested this spring. The standout striker stole the show with a three-goal, two-assist performance.
It took only 20 minutes for Hernandez to tighten his scoring boots and unleash on the Corpus Christi goal. Rolando Espinoza hit a well-weighted 25-yard through ball toward the corner. The ensuing cross was met with the swift foot of Hernandez who blasted a volley on goal. The Corpus Christi netminder could only watch the smoke come off of his gloves as the hard-hit shot deflected off his hand and into the net to put Pirate SC on top 1-0.
Eight minutes later, Hernandez was at it again. This time he spread the love and set up his brother Luis to notch the game’s second goal. However, 2-0 simply would not satisfy a high-achieving Hernandez, and he next set up Jonathan Yanez for the team’s third goal in the waning minutes of the first half.
Charitable efforts complete, Hernandez used the second half to add to his personal scoring legacy. After beating a handful of defenders, he had had enough and put the Fuel out of its misery by converting a 12-yard strike just three minutes into play. Hernandez saved his best for last and rounded out Pirate SC’s scoring with a 64th-minute header courtesy of Mitchell Alcantar’s clever cross.
Somehow, the story never gets old. With 29 goals in 19 appearances, Hernandez never ceases to amaze even his toughest critics. This includes Galveston coach and ex-professional player Brendan Keyes.
“What can I say, Roy is in a class of his own,” Keyes said. “He’s at a completely different level, an unreachable level. Today he was right there for all of our fans to see. I mean it’s hard to choose another MVP with him on the squad.”
Although it does appear to be all Roy, all the time, there is more to a Galveston side that has allowed only one goal in its three league matches.
“Adam Montelongo and Jachin Whittington really stood out defensively,” Keyes said. “I was proud of those guys. They really closed Corpus Christi down and didn’t allow them any opportunities. You can only beat what you have in front of you, and our defense has taken care of business thus far.”
What’s in front of Pirate SC is about to change, though, and Keyes can hardly contain his excitement.
“Sure, we have three victories,” Keyes said. “But it’s that Regals FC game that the entire league is focused on. They’re our main rival and main threat for the crown. That game will be a big clincher.”
Still, first thing is first.
“We take it one game at a time, though,” Keyes said. “Yes, we’re excited about the Regals FC game, but we first have to take care of Club America Academy. We were able to relax and rest up after owning such a big lead today. We took our foot off the gas and should be more than ready when we face them this week.”
Pirate SC may have eased up on its high-speed scoring pursuit in Sunday’s match, but the team will soon shift gears and resume full-throttle action this Wednesday against Club America Academy. The match, originally slated for this past Saturday, will now kick-off at 7 p.m. at USA Soccer Park in Houston.
SPSL fans, mark your calendar for Dec. 4.
“Bring on Regals FC. Bring them on,” Keyes said.