South Point gets by East Lincoln

September 5, 2007 at 7:27 am 2 comments

soccerball.jpg 

The South Point men’s soccer teams got by the East Lincoln teams by identical JV and Varsity scores of 2-1 on Tuesday night at Lineberger Stadium.

The young JV squad led by coach Blake Powell, had to fight through some rusty play to start their season. Freshman, Kyle Mincey, opened the lead to 1-0 with a great strike from a run in the first half. East Lincoln confused sophomore keeper, Kevin Patz a shortime later with a bit of razzle-dazzle to equalize before the halftime.

In the second half, South Point managed to squeeze in a goal with some fine runs by sophomore, Joey Mitchell and the twins, Nate and Ben Propst.

Overall, the JV’s performed just OK, for early season. Play was slow and even sluggish at times. We are chalking up the indecisive play to the inexperience of being mostly a freshman squad and the first match of the season. Some bright points, sophomore Thomas Pennington, freshman Stuart Turner, and of course, keeper Kevin Patz. Each could see varsity playing time this season with their hustle.

The Varsity match was another “so-so” outing for the Red Raiders. Playing at home for the first time this season, and with a decent sized crowd, a wierdly different line up started from what was seen at the Gazette Cup a couple of weeks ago.

Andre’ Castro started at right mid (wing) and sophomore Ryan Stephens started at the left center-mid, moving Matt Crane to the left wing. CJ Carswell earned a start at right forward.  Spectators could tell that the players were uncomfortable in their roles, and East Lincoln attacked right from the get-go.

East Lincoln played to the right side of the South Point defense and managed to set up at least 3 shots on goal in the first 4 minutes that were saved or deflected by keeper Case Gadd. East Lincoln player #23 earned an early yellow card for dissent after a simple foul about 40 yards out. Aaron Pegues’ shot just missed the target.

On a series of passes up the field, East Lincoln surprised the South Point defense by slipping three players in behind, with a goal being scored off the final pass. 1-0 to East Lincoln.

Coach Tudor subbed in Tyler Martin, moved Carswell to the right wing, pushed Stephens to the left, and Crane to the middle. Immediately results were seen. East Lincoln couldn’t move through the middle and Kevin Haskins was suddenly more open to runs from different angles. Co-Skippers, Will Harbin and Aaron Pegues were able to connect passes using Crane and Haskins to set up those runs.

It all seemed to be in slow-motion however. Two-touch, hold, look, slowly paced passes. The boys still have a lot of work to accomplish. Better opponents will be able to pick apart the possession game.

Haskins had a couple of rocket shots go wide and over until he got fouled about 25 yards out. It appeared that a quick restart was in order until the referee held the boys for a whistle. Haskins took the free kick and nailed the net, equalizing the match at 1 a piece.

The rest of the half seemed to be just a bit of back and forth, except for a sweet run by Haskins up the left, when #23 from East Lincoln tried to keep him out of the box. #23 got called for the foul, and protested to the referee, which earned him a second caution – (in HS a DQ for the rest of the match). The Raiders were not able to convert the ensuing direct kick.

The first half ended as a draw, 1-1. 

Highlights of the revamped stadium were noted by the spectators. A new scoreboard that actually keeps “soccer time”, new fencing, and the field was in good condition even after a jv fooball game the night before. The Red Raider Booster Club blew it big time however, by not opening a concession stand for the fans. It is still all about football at South Point. Noteworthy was the stadium announcer, Wesley Walker, a senior at South Point, with a baritone voice and spot-on commentary through the match. He should be hired to do the football announcing too !

The second half had a focus on possession by the South Point squad. Midfielders, Harbin and Crane playing back to the defensive third, and Aaron Pegues having an All-State Candidate night fending off a couple of pretty fast East Lincoln forwards. Cameron Matthews, the new “monster of the midway” playing in the right wing position managed to press up several times making great crossing passes to Tyler Martin and Kevin Haskins.

aaron-pegues-all-state-candidate.jpg   (Aaron Pegues – red #5)

(smugmug photo by Keith Coward)

About three-quarters of the way in the second half, defender Sam Reese cleared a long ball in a quick counter attack up to Kevin Haskins who was prowling the left wing. From his chest to his feet, Haskins is one of the quickest players in NC soccer. Once he takes off, he has the striker mentality of finishing above all else. And, that’s what he did on this play – wow, great ball into the net. 2-1 South Point.

case-and-sam.jpg 

(Case (GK) and Sam (#6) from Gazette Cup action)  (from Keith Coward photos)

Suddenly, a spark from the Raiders – for the next 5-8 minutes, they played like a state-ranked team. Connecting passes, combination of runs, and very aggressive defense. That goal obviously provided the spark. East Lincoln continued to try to mount attacks, but South Point handled mutiple combinations with relative ease.

The new scoreboard clock ran down before the obligatory 2 minute shutoff, and the referee added time, but the decision was already in hand: South Point 2, East Lincoln 1.

Next up for South Point, 8th ranked 2A rival Shelby on Wednesday. Shelby has a strong defensive side, and good forwards. The player versus player matchups will be interesting. With Will Shull having graduated, a new midfield leader will be needed to step to keep Shelby competitive. Last year’s result was a draw, 2-2, after SP had taken a 2-0 lead. The X-factor last year was Shull who took over in the last ten minutes of the match to earn the draw.

JV’s play at 5:30 PM, the varsity kicks off about 7:10 PM.

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Entry filed under: Belmont, Front Porch, Gaston Gazette, Gastonia Gazette, HS Soccer, HS Sports, NC High School Soccer, NC Soccer Coaches Association, NC Soccer Forum, NCHSAA, NCSCA, School, Small Town, Soccer, South Point, South Point HS, Sports, Youth Sports.

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2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Adam  |  September 5, 2007 at 8:48 am

    Broadcaster definitley has a career in radio! One key observation from the game though is that South Point is too dependent on Kevin
    for scoring. This could have easily have been a tie or a loss with the game only decided in the closing minutes. This should not have been the case since East does not have a deep bench and had one of it’s two top defenders ejected early in the game.

    Reply
  • 2. dependant?  |  September 10, 2007 at 11:11 am

    Don’t mistake dpendance for selfishness. there are many times when Kevin should have passed, but instead tried to go through 2 or 3 defenders only to give up the ball. He is a great player no doubt, but he would be even better if he learned to pass.

    Reply

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