Patriot boys beat Green Wave to clinch second straight region championship
The Fort Dorchester boys’ soccer team clinched the Region 8-AAAA championship Tuesday with a 3-2 win over rival Summerville.
The game was competitive from start to finish, but the first half was largely a defensive battle.
“It was wide open the entire time,” Fort Dorchester coach Chris Jones said. “I was not very happy about the way we couldn’t get control of the game. It was tiring for both teams because we were back and forth and playing long ball too much. I give Summerville a lot of credit. They fought hard and are probably in better shape than us in some positions.”
After the teams had the opportunity to feel each other out for 40-plus minutes, things picked up and the Patriots took a 3-0 lead.
“We had about 10 or 15 minutes of brilliance near the start of the second half but then didn’t play as defensive as we should have,” Jones said. “We played like we wanted to score 10 more goals, but the good thing is we got the W and we have some stuff from this game that we will be able to pull from film and use to learn.”
Senior Batoua Wonlet kicked off the excitement by scoring off a free kick from near the sideline.
“We set it up like a corner kick because of where it was on the field,” Jones said. “Batoua took the kick and sent it straight into the goal.”
The Patriots then had a goal from senior Alihan Ozsoylu which was followed a short time later with a goal from sophomore Caleb Sandoval.
But the Green Wave was not ready to concede. Junior Walker Riley put Summerville on the board with the help of an assist by junior Madison Socha.
Later in the half, sophomore Chris Miller scored an unassisted goal to cut the Fort lead to 1. In his first game back from an injury, freshman keeper Ashton Tanner kept the Patriots from landing another goal, but Summerville was unable to get the goal they needed to tie things up.
“It was really back and forth and I felt we played well in spurts,” Summerville coach Jason Rasner said. “We created opportunities and showed a lot of character to come back from a 3-0 deficit. It was a good, hard-fought battle. Fort played well and they deserve the region title.”
The Patriots improved to 11-4 on the season with an 8-1 mark in Region 8-AAAA with the win and secured a No. 1 seed for this year’s playoffs. It is the second consecutive year the Patriots have claimed the region championship.
“You know, Scott Campsie and Neil Veloso have been with these kids longer than I have,” Jones said. “They brought these kids up through our program so they deserve a lot of the credit. I just kind of stepped in at a really good time.”
Beaufort (10-7, 6-3) is now in second place for the region while Summerville (7-7-1, 4-4) and Bluffton (9-8, 4-4) are tied for third place.
The Patriots host Bishop England Friday and Academic Magnet April 29 before closing their regular season with a match at Bluffton May 1. Summerville travels to Bluffton Friday and to Stratford April 30 before closing its regular season with a home match May 2 against Ashley Ridge (8-8-1, 3-5).
Contact Roger Lee @ 873-9424 ext. 213 or email@example.com