Flagler Palm Coast sophomore Teagan Paulo has benefited from having a goalkeeper coach this season. Of course, Teagan has been getting goalie advice for years from the new coach — his brother, Tanner Paulo.
“He’s giving me more confidence, and when I have confidence, the team has confidence,” Teagan Paulo said.
Tanner Paulo is just two years removed from being FPC’s starting goalie. With Teagan Paulo in goal this season, the Bulldogs recorded their third consecutive shutout with a 3-0 win against Crescent City on Nov. 30 at Sal Campanella Stadium. FPC had allowed six goals in its first three games before winning three in a row to improve to 4-2.
“We had to sort it out in the beginning, but we’ve found our way,” Teagan Paulo said.
The streak began with a 1-0 win at Beachside on Nov. 20 with Aron Binkley scoring the game’s lone goal. Binkley scored two goals, with Jack Moberly and Aidan Hastings also scoring in the Bulldogs’ home opener on Nov. 29, a 4-0 victory against University.
He’s giving me more confidence, and when I have confidence, the team has confidence.”
— TEAGAN PAULO, on his brother, goalkeeping coach Tanner Paulo
Five freshmen, including four JV call-ups, made appearances in that game. With Moberly and Binkley away at a showcase on Nov. 30, the Bulldogs relied on their young players again against Crescent City.
Freshman striker John McDermott played 70 minutes in the game.
“He really stepped up,” FPC head coach Ramtin Amiri said. “He brings us a little bit of pace. He’s determined. He doesn’t stop running.”
Junior Jace Zecca scored two goals against the Raiders. Matthew Mercadal added the third goal directly from a corner kick with about 12 minutes left.
Conner Stone assisted both of Zecca’s goals. Zecca gave FPC a 1-0 halftime lead when he turned around and drilled a left-footed shot past the goalkeeper. Zecca made it 2-0 about 23 minutes into the second half as he took a cross from Stone and buried a shot into the bottom right corner of the net.
“He didn’t stop running. He got to the ball before the defender,” Amiri said. “When he comes at you, it’s scary.”
Paulo had eight saves in the game and 53 through the Bulldogs’ first six games.
“I believe we’ve come a long way since the beginning of the season, and we’re only getting better offensively and defensively,” Zecca said.
“We needed a big win, and we got it against Beachside,” Amiri said. “We’re trying to improve game by game, and we’ve been doing that.”