Rams advance to finals

Published 12:00 am Thursday, April 29, 2004

AHOSKIE – In some ways, both coaches got what they needed here Friday afternoon.

Ridgecroft School boy’s soccer coach Aaron Martin got to see his team play well and put the ball in the net while Hertford County first-year skipper Stephan Popadich got his club some experience.

&uot;It was a good first match,&uot; Martin said. &uot;We were able to string some passes together. We went to a team camp at Campbell University and it was worth its weight in gold.

&uot;We worked a lot in the off season,&uot; he continued. &uot;Today we came together as a unit.&uot;

For his part, Popadich said the game was important.

&uot;The experience was pivotal today,&uot; he said. &uot;We had brand new players playing and we needed time on the field.&uot;

The Rams walked away with a 10-0 victory in the first round of the Ridgecroft Invitational Tournament, securing a spot in today’s 12 noon championship match with Pasquotank County High School.

The headliner for the day was senior forward Chris Hill who netted five balls to help the Rams secure the victory. He opened the scoring with just under two minutes gone from the game clock when he intercepted an errant pass and deposited the goal in the net.

Just over a minute later, classmate Evans Jones scored on a deflected shot to make it 2-0.

Hill had a pair of goals in the middle of the first half, one coming on a Hanes Joyner assist to make it 4-0.

Joyner then scored himself with 15 minutes to play in the half when he dribbled around several defenders to score.

Hill and Jones each added scores in the closing 11 minutes of the half to make it 7-0 at the break.

Joyner, Hill and Jones all scored in the second half to secure the victory for the Rams.

One major setback for the Bears came when Stephen Ramersad went down to a knee injury.

&uot;It looks like a dislocation and hopefully that’s all,&uot; Popadich said.

In the second game of the Invitational, the Ridgecroft jayvees were forced into action when Pungo Christian Academy pulled out at the last minute.

Despite a valiant effort, they fell to Pasquotank 2-0.

&uot;Our kids were all over the place,&uot; Rams’ coach Greg Lakavich said. &uot;I was really impressed with the way they battled and maintained possession. They played with a lot of heart.&uot;

The Ram jayvees will meet Hertford County in the first matchup at 10 a.m. today (Saturday) while the varsity squad will meet Pasquotank in the championship contest.