Green Wave boys take Swamp Foxes out of playoff contention
There was a lot on the line Thursday night when the Summerville and Ashley Ridge boys’ soccer teams met for their final game of the regular season.
The Green Wave showed great intensity from the start of the match and the aggressive style paid off as Summerville avenged an early season loss to Ashley Ridge by earning a 2-0 shutout over the Swamp Foxes at Memorial Stadium.
“We knew we needed to win to get a good seed for the playoffs plus they are our rival so we wanted to make sure we were aggressive,” Green Wave junior Ryan West said.
With the win, Summerville seized the No. 3 playoff seed for Region 8-AAAA and opened the playoffs Tuesday with a match at Stratford.
Had the Wave (9-8, 6-4) lost to the Swamp Foxes (10-10, 4-6) a second time they would have tied with Ashley Ridge for third place in the region and due to tiebreaker rules been awarded the No. 4 seed. That would have meant opening the playoffs at top-ranked and undefeated Wando.
“We played with a lot of heart tonight,” Summerville coach Jason Rasner said. “You could tell they wanted this game and they left it all out on the field tonight. It’s good to see them so passionate about winning.”
Because Summerville prevailed, Ashley Ridge was knocked out of the playoffs as the No. 4 seed went to Bluffton (10-9, 4-6) on a tiebreaker.
West scored both Summerville goals. The first came in the first two minutes of play.
“I was a little surprised we scored so fast,” West said. “Brandon Cook played a magnificent ball that trickled through the defense and I just ran onto it and hit it.”
Once West gained possession of the ball only Swamp Fox keeper Stockton Blanchard and one other defender stood between him and the net. West out sprinted the player out front and put a shot out of Blanchard’s reach and into the right corner of the net to give Summerville momentum early.
The Wave did a good job controlling possession the rest of the half and got off several other nice shots, but the Swamp Foxes defended them all.
Ashley Ridge was more aggressive in the second half, winning more balls and taking more shots than it did in the first 40 minutes. With just more than 30 minutes remaining, Swamp Fox midfielder Manuel Enciso made a nice cross to striker Anson Girone who sent a shot from directly in front of the goal into the net. However, the official ruled Girone was offside.
The Swamp Foxes created other scoring opportunities afterwards, but Summerville keeper Ashton Tanner and the other Wave defenders kept them off the scoreboard.
“We had a great team effort tonight,” Rasner said. “I put Madison Socha back on defense to kind of take away some of their speed and he really did a good job. It wasn’t just his speed, he also did a good job directing things and providing leadership.”
With approximately five minutes remaining, West received a pass just outside of the box and slipped by a Swamp Fox defender. He darted to the left corner of the goal and sent a shot into the net for the 2-0 score.
Results from Summerville’s playoff game with Stratford were not available at press time but the winner of that match advances to the second round Thursday to play the winner of the South Aiken/Richland Northeast match. South Aiken is the top seed from its region so if it won the game will be at South Aiken. If Richland Northeast won, the Blazers will travel to the Lowcountry for the second round.
Contact Roger Lee @ 873-9424 ext. 213 or email@example.com