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Rams stun Fayetteville Christian

AHOSKIE – Ridgecroft School got started with a bang.

The Rams’ varsity soccer team put together 25 minutes of solid play early and then held on to defeat 2-A powerhouse Fayetteville Christian School 5-3 here Saturday afternoon.

“We wanted top-notch competition early this season and that’s exactly what we got today,” said Ridgecroft coach Aron Martin. “I didn’t know what would happen coming in, but I did know we were capable.”

The Rams got two goals from Miles Harrell and one each from Ryan Beggs and Landon Larabee as well as an own-goal scored by Fayetteville Christian to secure the win.

Ridgecroft got started early when Harrell put in a ball off the assist of Beggs and took the quick lead.

Just moments later, the Rams scored again, this time when Beggs put a header in the back of the net when Aaron Rock sent a corner kick into the middle, giving Ridgecroft a 2-0 lead.

Ridgecroft keeper Ethan Phelps then kept the visiting Fayetteville team off the board when he made a key save on a laser kick that went straight for the goal. The visitors had two more shots late, but both missed high.

“The first 25 minutes were exceptional,” Martin said. “I think it was the best soccer I’ve seen since I’ve been at Ridgecroft.”

Fayetteville had a quick goal to start the second half and had a second chance moments later, but missed wide right.

An own-goal gave Ridgecroft a 3-1 lead, but Fayetteville scored again to cut the margin to 3-2.

Harrell struck again with just over 10 minutes to play when he scored on a header that again came off a corner kick from Rock.

Fayetteville didn’t give in, however, scoring with less than five minutes to play to again cut the lead to just one (4-3).

Ridgecroft finally put the game away with less than two minutes to play when Larabee scored to seal the 5-3 victory.

“Our communication was excellent,” Martin said. “Our execution was spot-on. I think we did a great job of finishing the chances that we had and that’s imperative to win games, especially big games.”

The coach said he was also pleased with the participation from his squad.

“I am extremely pleased with all of our performances,” he said. “Our bench is what kept us in the match when we were wearing down.”

The coach also said his team would need to continue to work on condition.

“Fitness was clearly an issue for us,” he said. “We seemed to defend desperately at times during the second half.”

The Rams will travel to Kerr-Vance Academy today before hosting the Ridgecroft Invitational next weekend.