Ridgecroft rolls on Homecoming

Published 11:45 pm Friday, September 30, 2011

AHOSKIE – There was no Homecoming Dance to put the finishing touch on Homecoming Week at Ridgecroft School Friday.

Instead, the finale was the Independent School’s number-one ranked 1A team ‘dancing’ all over the Oakwood Eagles on Homecoming Day.

The Rams wasted little time exerting themselves and came away with an 8-0 victory and raised their record to 11-1.

2011 Homecoming Queen Kasey Lynn Jones may have literally worn the crown, but the soccer team were the ‘Kings Of The Court.’ Or in soccer terms, ‘Kings of The Pitch’

Drey Chrysostomou, named in ESPN RISE’s Youth Soccer Top-36 of prep players in North Carolina, scored four goals and had an assist. Fellow senior Michael Byrum had a pair of goals and a pair of assists.

Shayheim See Persaud and Austin Foster had the other two goals for the Rams while goalkeeper Jordan Harrell got the shutout in goal, his seventh of the year.

“First half we were moving the ball around pretty well with some pretty quick exchanges,” said Ridgecroft coach Aron Martin. “We lost some focus in the second half after the score became what it was and obviously we made some substitutions to get more personnel involved.

“A lot of kids got a chance to play,” he added.

With a 4-0 lead in the first 10 minutes of play that grew to 6-0 at halftime, Martin could have begun his substitutions almost anytime.

Both Chrysostomou and Byrum had early scoring chances, but each players’ first two shots went awry. But at five minutes in, Chrysostomou found a streaking See Persaud down the right side and his two-dribbler found the net for the Rams’ first score of the game.

Three minutes later, on a corner kick, Byrum was able to bend a beauty of a curling shot right above the Eagles defenders into the twine making it 2-0 and the crowd seemed to sense that the rout was on.

Byrum’s next goal came on a breakaway at the seven minute mark where he simply outran a trio of Oakwood defenders then put a spin move on the last Eagle between he and the keeper before his kick bounced in and it was 3-0.

At the 10-minute mark, Chrysostomou went to work. He missed his first attempt wide right, but came back and tickled the twine with a soft shot after getting a crossing pass from Nikola Jovanovic that made it 4-0.

Landon Larabee helped set up Chrysostomou’s second goal, with a high arcing pass that he collected before sailing a bullet past the outstretched arms of the Oakwood goalkeeper and a 5-0 score. He completed his first-half hat trick with a solo shot just before the break and a 6-0 lead.

As the second half began, Martin began to move his forwards, midfielders, and even the defenders around like chess pieces.

Chrysostomou just picked up where he left off with the first second half goal that came via Jovanovic’s second assist of the match and made it, 7-0.

Thanks to moving his players around, defender Austin Foster got a chance to play up front and got a Cas Castelloe offering that he took advantage of and finished with the final goal of the game.

Ridgecroft had other chances, but Oakwood (2-6) also substituted liberally and even though one final goal for the Rams was waved off, Harrell and the defense were able to keep the visitors off the scoreboard.

“They had their day with us,” said Oakwood coach Terry Noble, shaking his head. “They’re deserving of their ranking.”

“We’re in the stretch of our season now where we’ve got to get a lot out of our training sessions,” said Martin of his team who’ll play three games on the road next week.

“But I’m pleased with the effort,” he concluded, “and I’m glad a lot of players got a lot of touches.”