Merrol Hyde’s Sam Wilson (19) tries to slow down East Robertson’s Tristan Houk (22).

Merrol Hyde’s Sam Wilson (19) tries to slow down East Robertson’s Tristan Houk (22).

The Merrol Hyde soccer team cruised past East Robertson in Tuesday’s District 8-A semifinal, downing the Indians 9-0 in Hendersonville.

“Merrol Hyde is and has been a very tough team in the Midstate,” East Robertson coach Todd Evilcizer said. “Soccer is their main sport, and they have the resources that give them the talent and experience to be as good as they are.”

The Indians (8-9-2) were without four significant contributors for Tuesday’s match. Combine that with the heavy roster turnover that East Robertson has experienced in recent years, and it proved to be too much to overcome.

“I think, considering the number of players lost over the last two years to graduation, plus the times we did not have players available this season, it was a season to be proud of and [we should] not hang our heads,” Evilcizer said.

East Robertson graduates six seniors, including midfielders Colby Salentino and Peyton Hutton, goalie Kodie Searcy, striker Christian Racine and defenders Justin Russell and Ryan Carrion.

“This year’s seniors were a great group of kids, and they led well,” Evilcizer said. “We lose talent on the offensive and defensive side of the ball. They will be missed terribly, and once again, several vacancies will have to be filled. But we will keep moving forward.”

Merrol Hyde (9-3-2) went on to beat RePublic 2-1 to win the District 8-A championship Wednesday night. 

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