South Point Footies Battle Ashbrook to remain Undefeated

September 18, 2007 at 12:04 am Leave a comment

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The excitement of the evening’s featured soccer match was helped by the pulsing techo-beat of the warmup music for the second match between 4A Ashbrook and South Point on Wednesday.

Both teams looked loose prior to the match with well organized warmups at opposite ends of Lineberger Stadium in Belmont. South Point senior, CJ Carswell, was not dressed as a result of a knee sprain  and pulled hamstring sustained in last Wednesday’s match at Hunter Huss. Star striker for South Point, Kevin Haskins, and left back, Sam Reese, were feeling a bit under the weather and were doubtful as starters for the number two ranked Red Raiders.

The JV’s played to a 1-1 draw in the early match, setting the stage for another HUGE Big South Conference battle.

South Point came out of the kick off fast, quickly playing the ball to the right, and down field. Captain, Will Harbin, and right back, Devon Anderson had pushed the ball up uncharacteristically fast with Cameron Matthews waiting in the deep wing taking the first shot on goal. Harrison Hamorsky in goal for the Green Wave was able to make the first of almost 12 saves on the night.

Play settled in with South Point looking very good. Aaron Pegues once again led the defense, barking smart directions to his teammates, letting the other South Point players know when and where the opposing players were probing. The midfield play, arguably the best combination in the western portion of the state with Harbin and fellow captain, Matt Crane taking charge of distribution and very fast combination plays. Through balls from the dynamic duo to Tyler Martin, who started in place of the ailing Haskins, found feet in an effective manner. Martin nailed one shot just over the cross bar. Crane volleyed  another over the cross bar on a crossing pass from Nathan Kelly.

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(South Point Website photo)

Haskins entered the match at the 15 minute mark and had an immediate affect on the defensive structure for Ashbrook. Center back, Evan Rankin found himself covering the wings for most of the first half, leaving Andreas’ Patino and Jerad Kiser to have to pinch inside when Haskins began his runs. Nathan Kelly kept the Green Wave on their heels, making several very speedy trips up to cover the wing to Haskins’ left side.

About the 30′ mark, a pass from the “monster of the midfield”, Cameron Matthews, found a spot two steps ahead of Kevin’s feet. Kevin finished with a handy shot catching Hamorsky going the opposite direction. South Point was up 1-0. 

As advertised, Andy Rangel, senior striker for the Green Wave, showed “the beef “. Pegues countered each of his early first half runs with some daring footwork and misdirection to keep Rangel out of shooting range. Huss-to-Ashbrook transfer, Stephen Valenzuela, and Kiser were just as inneffective with their shots from some great play by Devon Anderson and Josh Springs, who had stepped in for Reese. Springs, “the Arm” had a big night, making several long throw-ins to the middle of the box, where Crane, Matthews,and an occasional twin, would be waiting for heading opportunities. A good first half ended with SP leading 1-0.

Things started to get rough in the second half with both teams drawing cautions for hard tackling and the resultant protests. One foul, about 20 yards out from the South Point goal, left of goal, led to Ashbrook’s direct kick shot that ended with a goal by Kiser.

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The rest of regulation time saw good opportunities by both sides. Strong shots, good keeper play with some impressive saves by both Hamorsky and Case Gadd.  Heavy, intense tackles, and every ball contested. Quick restarts, a fact-of-life among the top tier of the conference teams, helped the flow of play stay entertaining to the roughly 300-plus spectators. Lots of  “oohs and aaahs” from spectators on both sides of the stadium. The referee crew did a good job of keeping control with this emotional style of play. At times, it seemed that either team could lose control. Captains from both teams deserve a lot of credit for checking in their teams when it was needed. Regulation ended with the teams in a draw 1-1.

The first “half” of a full two tens of Overtime began with a spirited charge by South Point. Most of the play in the first ten was on the Ashbrook end of the field. The ball switched fields multiple times, looking for an “in”. Not much happening until a combination play where Harbin and Crane connected and Crane drilled a low screamer to the left of the net. Crane knew the shot was a score, lifting his arms in celebration before the ball crossed the goal line. 2-1 to South Point. 

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(Gazette photo)

 

The second ten had both sides of the stands remaining on their feet, screaming and singing encouragment to their players. With two minutes left in the match, Crane headed a ball out of the air over the head of the Ashbrook keeper to the feet of a waiting Tyler Martin who hammered the nail into the coffin of the match for the vistors. 3-1 OT win for South Point.  

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(South Point Website photos)

Great team effort by the home-loving Raiders. Outstanding efforts by Cameron Matthews, Bradley Avery, Josh Springs, Nate Kelly, and Ryan Stephens along with the momentum-gathering of the defensive stars of the well developed “flat back” four (Reese, D. Anderson, R. Anderson, and Pegues). Super-emotional effort by the crowd to keep the boys pumped up for 100 full-time minutes of exciting soccer on a beautiful night.

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Entry filed under: Aaron Pegues, bannernews, Belmont, Belmont Banner, Case Gadd, Community, Front Porch, Gaston Gazette, HS Soccer, HS Sports, Jerad Kiser, Kevin Haskins, Matt Crane, mybannernews, NC High School Soccer, NC Soccer Coaches Association, NC Soccer Forum, NCHSAA, NCSCA, Ryan Anderson, School, Small Town, Soccer, South Point, South Point HS, Sports, Will Harbin.

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