Soccer stalemate

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, March 31, 2004

AHOSKIE – Ridgecroft School proved they could play against the best in the state here Tuesday afternoon.

Hosting Greenfield School, the state’s top-ranked Class 1A team in the NCISAA, the Lady Rams battled their powerful guests to a 1-1 stalemate.

Greenfield, the defending state champions showed why they are ranked first as they aggressively attacked Ridgecroft’s defense like no team has this year.

The Rams defense came up big however as April Piland and Loftin Johnson consistently cleared the ball in the other direction.

Sarah Beth Greene, a sophomore keeper, also stepped up with eight saves the first half alone.

It was the Rams who scored first as Landis Joyner got past the defense and netted in the bottom right corner from 10 yards out, 30 minutes into the first half.

Sarah Grace Magette was credited with the assist.

The first half ended with Ridgecroft up by that 1-0 count.

With only five shots on goal in the first half, Ridgecroft’s coaching staff was looking to make some adjustments.

&uot;We tried to toughen up our defense and speed up our offense,&uot; said Rams coach Becky Johnson.

&uot;We decided to move April (Piland) and Brittnay (Taylor) up front to pressure the ball.&uot;

The plan seemed to work perfectly as the Rams managed to keep the ball in opponent territory much more after halftime.

However, 16:48 into the second half, All-State forward Anna Wooten Gauss managed to get behind the defense and score the game-tying goal.

Both squads feverishly attacked opponent goal for the remainder of the match, with near misses coming from both sides.

It was a defensive battle however as neither team could manage to find net in overtime, ending the match in a tie.

Ridgecroft co-captains Caitlin Lowe and Meredith Armstrong were pleased with their squad’s performance.

&uot;We came out ready to play,&uot; they said after the match.

&uot;We played well, but more importantly, never stopped.

We wanted to communicate and keep our heads up.&uot;

The Rams travel to Hobgood Academy today (Thursday) for a 4 p.m. kickoff.