Published 12:00 am Thursday, October 28, 2004
AHOSKIE – It was a nail biter until the end as the third seed Ridgecroft Rams varsity boys soccer team held off number six, Covenant Day School, 1-0, here Tuesday.
With the victory, the Rams advance to the semifinals of the North Carolina Independent Schools Athletic Association 1A soccer championship.
&uot;We dodged a bullet,&uot; said Rams head coach Patrick Sensiba.
&uot;They were a sleeper team that had only lost to 2A schools.&uot;
The first half ended with neither school on the scoreboard, although both teams had opportunities to put the ball in the net.
The biggest threat for the visitors came with just under three minutes left in the half when the Rams were penalized for a slide tackle.
Covenant took the penalty kick, but was unable to get past the wall of Ridgecroft defenders, who cleared the ball out of bounds.
This set up a corner kick by the Lions, but Rams defender Harrison Revelle headed the ball out of bounds, giving the Lions another corner opportunity, but again the Rams cleared the ball out of the backfield.
Both teams continued to play aggressively in the second half as each looked to put a score on the board.
The Rams did just that with 32 minutes left in the game.
Covenant took a corner kick that curved towards the Rams net.
Ridgecroft keeper Ian Kinlaw tipped the ball away from the net.
Hill Homewood won the loose ball, taking it upfield to attack the Lions goal before it was kicked out of bounds by Covenant
Gus McLean took the corner kick, and while several Rams had a chance to net the ball, it was Revelle who found the back of the net, giving Ridgecroft a 1-0 lead.
Covenant threatened to score until the last seconds, winning loose balls and pushing the ball into Ram territory, but the Rams defense held the Lions scoreless to preserve the 1-0 win.
&uot;They were hungrier than us in the first half,&uot; Sensiba said.
&uot;We’ve got to come out with more intensity. I was very concerned until the end.&uot;
The Rams defense stepped up against a fast, aggressive Lions offense, including several key plays by defender Drew Jones.
&uot;Drew played an outstanding game.
He carried us tonight,&uot; Sensiba said.
Ridgecroft will face the winner of the Wayne Country Day versus Village Christian game.
The semifinal match will be played Friday at 6:30 p.m. at Greenfield School in Wilson.