The No. 3 team in the state handed Ashley Ridge a loss in the third round of the Class AAAA hoys’ soccer playoffs Saturday.
The Swamp Foxes opened the playoffs May 13 with a 2-1 victory over Spring Valley. The Vikings got on the scoreboard first with a goal in the 43rd minute, but Ashley Ridge needed less than six minutes to answer with a goal from sophomore Britt Soyebo. Freshman Tristen Caples then sent the game-winning goal into the net in the 55th minute.
In the second round, the Swamp Foxes hosted Aiken. After 110 minutes of scoreless soccer, Ashley Ridge won a PK shootout 5-3 to claim a 1-0 victory and advance.
Manny Enciso, Michael Sauter, Stockton Blanchard, Quincy D’Antonio and Soyebo hit PKs for Ashley Ridge. Blanchard also had the shutout in goal.
Ashley Ridge had to face No 3 ranked South Aiken on the road Saturday in the third round and fell 3-0.
“Our young men achieved a lot this year and I am so very proud of them,” Ashley Ridge coach Nate Harris said. “We lost to a very strong team in South Aiken, but gave them everything they could handle. We left everything on the field and we can hold our heads up. That is all I can ask for at the end of the season.”
The Swamp Foxes finish the season as the Region 8-AAAA Co-champion and with an 18-7-1 overall record. Ashley Ridge, Summerville and Bluffton all finished with a 7-3 mark in region play. Based on tiebreaker criteria, Summerville claimed the region’s top playoff seed while Ashley Ridge claimed the No. 2 seed and Bluffton the No. 3 seed.
Approximately half of the players on this year’s Ashley Ridge team are seniors. The Swamp Foxes will lose five midfielders plus two defenders and their starting goalkeeper to graduation, but should return some of their leading scorers next season.
The Lady Swamp Foxes defeated Stratford last week to advance to the second round, where they fell 3-0 to No. 6 ranked Lexington. The Ashley Ridge girls finish the season as the Region 8-AAAA Co-champion and with an 11-5 record.