Tuesday, April 16, 2013
The Pinewood Prep boys’ soccer team is holding its own against some of the top teams in the state.
After earning a 3-0 victory Saturday over Bishop England, which is ranked second among the state’s Class AA public-school teams, the Panthers entered this week ranked No. 1 among SCISA AAA teams. Hayden Lowe scored two Pinewood goals in the game and Logan Pooser added the third. Senior Ryan Moore earned the shutout in goal.
With the win the Panthers improved to 10-3 with a 3-1 mark in their region.
The Panthers also have a win over Socastee, which is ranked fourth among the Class AAA public-school teams. Plus, all of Pinewood’s losses have been by a narrow margin.
Wando, ranked No. 1 in Class AAAA, handed the Panthers a 1-0 loss while Academic Magnet and Porter-Gaud both claimed a 2-0 victory over the Panthers. Earlier in the season, Pinewood earned a 3-1 victory over Porter-Gaud.
The Panthers have only surrendered seven goals this season and have shutout eight teams.
“We only lost two seniors last year so I have been working largely with the same group for a while now and I feel things are clicking,” Pinewood coach Enrique Rodriquez said. “They are doing what I ask and everyone is on the same page.”
Rodriquez has helped the Panthers reach the SCISA AAA championship game the past two seasons, first as an assistant coach and then last season in his first year as the team’s head coach. In 2012 Pinewood lost 2-1 in double overtime to Porter-Guard and the year before the Panthers fell to Cardinal Newman in the championship.
This year’s squad has 10 upperclassmen, including six seniors. Rodriquez is hoping that will give the Panthers the edge they need when the playoffs arrive.
“We’ve been competitive in all our games so the bar is set high,” Rodriquez said. “Now we need to keep it there by being consistent and maintaining our composure. In order to finish the season strong we need to play our game and be physical.”
Pooser has been one of the team’s main offensive weapons this season. Jin Kim has anchored the mid-field while Peter Ruby, Kevin Weber and Moore have anchored the Panther defense.
“Logan is just a dynamic player and Jin provides the balance for our team,” Rodriquez said. “Peter is a great leader and Kevin has been valuable not only as a defender but also as an attacker. Ryan has also been a big part of our success. He is very mature and has fended off some penalty kicks in big games.”
Pinewood has two games remaining before the playoffs begin May 6. The Panthers travel to Hilton Head Prep April 26 and then host Wilson Hall May 1. Both games are scheduled for 6:30 p.m.
Contact Roger Lee @ 873-9424 ext. 213 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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