Harbin’s Hat-trick Heightens Hopeful’s Heroics

October 4, 2007 at 2:39 pm Leave a comment

Will Harbin led South Point boy’s soccer team to a 9-0 victory over East Gaston last night by scoring a hat-trick. Harbin’s three goal outburst with an assist to boot (pun intended) lifted the Red Raiders to the away victory at Arrowhead Stadium. Harbin’s leadership helped the boys keep pace with Forestview in the conference race and first seed prize into the state playoffs.

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Harbin led the fired up Raiders throughout the evening by keeping the ball away from East Gaston’s star striker, Austin Kennedy. Harbin once again demonstrated his all-state candidacy by controlling the middle of the field with aggressiveness and determination. When Kennedy, a future collegiate hopeful, would roam near the midfield, Harbin and his young partner, Ryan Stephens were able to distribute the ball quickly and away from the fast-running forward.

The defensive line showed once again why South Point is ranked among the top 10 teams in the state. Right back, Ryan Anderson, know for his ability to keep a dribble under pressure, was able to march 50 yards through multiple tackles and score the Raider’s first tally of the night.

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Harbin scored shortly thereafter giving the the Red Raiders a bit of breathing room with a 2-0 lead after 10 minutes. Aaron Pegues, another 3A all-state candidate, captained a defensive unit that only allowed 3 three shots on goal in the first half, all by Kennedy. Pegues used speed to actually outrun Kennedy’s tugging and elbow-tossing to remove good shooting angles. East Gaston countered by throwing all-conference baseball/soccer star, Jordan Graham into the mix. Sam Reese, Devon Anderson, Josh Springs, and junior midfielder, Andre’ Castro, combined several times to make sure that Graham and Kennedy could not connect passes and mount a two-headed attack.

Matt Crane and Kevin Haskins entered the match about the 25th minute, which seemed to give new enthusiasm to the crowd and the players on both sides of the stadium. Kennedy was dropped back into the midfield and defensive third to boost the defensive speed and provide a possible counterattack if the option appeared. Coach Tudor has learned some important lessons in his first year. He entered Crane and Haskins into the left and right wing positions that paid dividends within their first minute of play.

Pegues had just started from the back and passed to Harbin, who then spotted Haskins along the touchline, Haskins received the ball and, at full-speed, drove toward the corner of the box. When it looked like he was going to take a shot, Haskins lifted the ball and placed it right at Crane’s left foot on the six-yard line who then drove the ball literally into the back of the net. The force of the shot actually made the ball stick into the net. The Warriors necks were on swivels. They thought Haskins would shoot, big mistake there.

A few minutes later, a similiar play developed, the defense collapsing on Crane, who one-touched across to a streaking Haskins – same play, opposite side — bang — another goal for Haskins, an assist to Crane. Very pretty soccer, boys !

Harbin, not to be outdone by this display of firepower, took a great pass from Haskins right up the gut of the East Gaston defense and nailed his second goal of the evening. This shot was a rocket, nicking the lower left 90 and sailing into the net.

Who said the South Point offense was one-dimensional?

The second half saw the whole squad getting a chance to play, and a change of keeper, Sophomore Kevin Patz. Patz offered more frustration to Austin Kennedy, when he denied a sure goal off of one of Kennedy’s lasers. #10 from East Gaston would have only a couple of more chances in the second half. Patz earned every bit of the clean sheet that senior keeper Case Gadd had begun composing in the first forty minutes.

Will Harbin scored again in the second half after a nice Haskins’ pass back from the 6 to a charging Harbin at the top of the box. The net was dancing all night for the Raiders ! Haskins scored shortly after by chipping the ball past the back line of the defense and two touching to the opposite side of the goal. Speed Kills.

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Aaron Pegues added a goal from a direct free kick from 19 yards out late in the second half.

Nathan Kelly, playing a significant number of minutes on the wing, possibly earning the full-time slot, had a great evening. Using his blinding speed, Kelly frustrated his former youth league teammate, Charlie Sinclair — several times getting past him to set up a series of crosses back to the far post, and to a rushing midfield.  Towards the full-time whistle, Kelly made a run and flicked the ball over the defenders head, regained possession, pulled the keeper off his line and just about walked the ball into the goal.  Final score SP 9, EG 0.

Notes:

Andre’ Castro, a junior midfielder, “Dre”, to his teammates, showed a tremendous amount of improvement over the past two weeks. He is showing a willingness to pass the ball, and use the team for forward movement. He is a rock when attempting to win the ball.

The South Point JV squad was a bit shocked by the outcome of their match earlier in the evening. The junior Raiders lost to EG 3-2. They were behind 2-0 at the half and staged a great, aggressive comeback. The game winner by the Warriors was a very good shot. The squad will be contributing several outstanding players to the varsity next fall. Zach Ray had a good match, the Propst twins looked good, Gavin Quick returned from strep throat and played well. Thomas Pennington is still growing – he must be over 6 foot by now. Kyle Mincey had another good outing. It appeared that Joey Mitchell was sick and did not make this trip. The Raiders will have a good season next year.

The win by the Raiders helped keep pace with conference foes Forestview and Ashbrook who each have a game in hand over the Raiders. The Raider’s Monday night October 1 match with Crest was postponed and rescheduled for Tuesday, October 16.

Next week, the Raiders host Hunter Huss, and travel to Ashbrook.

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Entry filed under: Aaron Pegues, Belmont, Belmont Banner, Case Gadd, Charlotte Observer, East Gaston HS, Front Porch, Gaston Gazette, HS Soccer, HS Sports, Kevin Haskins, Matt Crane, Mt. Holly, Ryan Anderson, Sam Reese, School, Small Town, Soccer, South Point, South Point HS, Sports, Tyler Martin, Will Harbin.

Ahh, Fall – Just wish it would rain Duke: No one in region should be watering lawns

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