It was fitting that it was raining Tuesday night during the Charlotte High School girls soccer match against Venice. Because the Tarpons faced a deluge of goals.
Sophomore Kiki Slattery scored a hat trick and fellow sophomore Maddy Krause had two goals and two assists as Venice (7-0) remained unbeaten in beating Charlotte, 9-1, in a game that ended in the 59th minute by the mercy rule.
Venice, which has outscored its opponents 44-3 so far this season, outshot the Tarpons 24-5 and spent about 90 percent of the match in Charlotte’s end of the field.
Despite that, Charlotte (3-3) did something that no team had done in five matches against Venice — score.
After Venice scored twice in the first seven minutes on goals from Slattery and Jamie Gerhart-Searles, Charlotte took advantage of sloppy play in the Venice backfield. Anacely Zervos found Kalli Pho in front of the net to make it 2-1 in the ninth minute.
This only made Venice mad, and it piled on from there.
Slattery finished her hat trick and Rachel Dalton joined in to make the score 5-1 at the half.
As the rain got harder, Venice only seemed to get better. Krause scored twice in a two-minute stretch to make it 7-1, Megan Blevins scored moments later, and Dalton finally ended the game on a penalty kick past Charlotte goalkeeper Eva Le.
“We were disappointed to have that goal scored on us. We had five straight shutouts. But we finished, and we had some girls get in for some playing time,” said Venice coach Gary Bolyard. “We’re very young, but the coaching staff has faith in every player on the team. We’ll put anybody in at any time, and our coaches get our girls ready to play.”
Charlotte has been taken to the woodshed twice after winning three of its first four games. Despite that, coach Amanda Carr saw some good things, especially the goal against the brick wall that is Venice.
“From Thursday to Tuesday, we have improved dramatically. We were playing out of our comfort zone tonight, which is what I asked of them,” Carr said.
“It was great to see them score because it gave them some confidence.”