Tuesday, July 1, 2014
A pair of Dorchester Two athletes helped the South Boys claim a 1-0 victory Saturday during the 26th annual North-South Soccer Classic.
Ashley Ridge’s Stockton Blanchard and Fort Dorchester’s Spencer Wilder were among only 17 players from the lower part of the state to be selected for the South Boys’ all-star team, which took on 18 all-stars from the northern part of the state during the match. Only players who were seniors during the 2013-14 school year were eligible for the game but the all-stars came from all athletic divisions A through AAAA. The event was held at Blackbaud Stadium on Daniel Island.
For Wilder, who was selected as the midfield captain for the South, the game marks the end of an era. He plans to attend College of Charleston next school year to study biochemistry but doesn’t plan to play soccer for the Cougars.
“This is definitely an honor,” Wilder said. “I was very pleased I was selected as a captain and it is great to play my final game with a great side. That we played against a great side and came out with a win makes it even better.”
Players had to battle high temperatures and stiff competition, but Wilder says he enjoyed the match.
“It was definitely different,” Wilder said. “The tempo was much quicker than I thought it would be and everyone here has their touch down so it’s much more difficult but that also makes it much more fun.”
Wilder was very active in the midfield and even got a few shots off, but they were all defended.
For Blanchard, the event served as a warm-up before he heads to Radford University to tend goal for the Highlanders.
“It was fun to be back at it in an ultra-competitive environment and play another game,” Blanchard said.
After a half of scoreless soccer, Wando’s Jackson Karolczyk headed a ball toward the North goal, but it was defended. However, Lexington’s Brett Smith was there for the clean up and in the 43rd minute sent a shot into the net for the game’s only score.
Blanchard was the only keeper on the South squad so he played the entire game and earned the shutout in goal. The former Swamp Fox keeper was put to the test by the North squad and made several athletic saves during the match.
Had it not been for several other key plays made by Swansea defender Arthur Myers, Blanchard may have received the MVP trophy for the South but Myers earned that honor. The two players combined to defend one of the North’s better attacks of the match, which came with approximately 17 minutes remaining.
“I was fortunate,” Blanchard said. “I closed on the ball with my legs but it slipped through and hit off my heel. Luckily it fell to Arthur and he covered me and hit it off the post.”
The ball bounced back and then there was a bit of a scrum in front of the goal line.
“I turned around, batted it out and after it bounced around a bit I grabbed it,” Blanchard said.
St. Joseph’s forward Christopher Heijer was named the North MVP.
The South boys have had a lot of success in recent North-South matches. However, the North leads the series 15-9-2.