Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Bulls keep the wins coming

In the only match this week for Hickory Ridge, the ragin men dominated yet another SPC opponent. The contestant this week was AL Brown. Hickory Ridge travelled to Kannapolis for the first meeting this season against the Wonders and left with a comfortable 4-1 victory. The Bulls got things going early when forward Matt Abbott sent a pass up the middle for forward Adrian Ike to run onto, make a slight move right, and place a ball past the Wonder keeper into the net for a 1-0 lead. From that point on, the Bulls fine tuned their passes, communicated well on the field, and generally picked up the attack and the pressure. With 20 minutes left in the half, Abbott and Ike hooked up again for the 2nd score when Matt again sent a diagonal pass that Adrian collected and placed past the keeper into the net. With the half winding to close, Abbott and Ike connected for the third time giving Adrian his first half trick of the season.




The second half started with the Bulls controlling possession and pressuring the Wonders. Hickory Ridge forced Kannapolis into a turnover in the center of the field just outside the 18 that Adrian was able to get to first and put the final Hickory Ridge points on the board. Score, Adrain 4, AL Brown 0. Kannapolis continued playing hard however and managed to ruin the Drew Andreotti's and the defense's clean sheet with a score of their own. The 10-2-1 Bulls are now ranked 13th in the state in the 3A rankings (per Eurosport), 12th in the Charlotte Observer sweet 16, and 2nd in the SPC conference behind Concord and tied with Robinson in the loss column. Next up....Robinson next Tuesday at home. Come out and cheer on the Bulls in a key SPC game...the battle for sole possession of 2nd place.

Adrian Ike scores the first of his 4 goals against the Wonders

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Bulls prevail over pesky Tigers

A 2nd soccer match in a row wasn't decided until the waning moments of the 2nd overtime, this time with a dramatic, heart stopping, come out of nowhere save from Sr. keeper Drew Andreotti. The game started much like the first contest vs. Mount Pleasant did, which the Bulls won handily 10-0. Perhaps thinking this contest would be much the same, the young men started with less focus and energy than the first match. Nevertheless, HR took a 1-0 lead on a rocket from Jr. Adrian Ike that skipped through the gloves of the keeper and into the underside of the top netting. 1-0 Bulls. However, unlike the first contest, the Tigers scored and the equalizer came with about 5 minutes remaining in the opening frame. Hickory Ridge spent the last 5 minutes of the half just trying to maintain and get to halftime with a draw.




The 2nd half saw the Bulls play with focus, energy, and intensity... but without reward. Shot after shot after shot (after shot....you get the idea) missed high, wide left and wide right. Frustration mounted with each errant kick as the Bulls dominated play but just could not find the clincher. Regulation ended the same as the first half ended, in a 1-1 tie. OT started with a full moon rising in the south and the stadium lights lighting the pitch. The first OT period was much like the second half - dominated by the Bulls but nary a goal could be had. Finally, with about 3 minutes remaining in the 2nd OT period, Adrian Ike beat the left fullback down the side and to the touch line, send a low centering pass to the top of the box where Sr. Matt Abbott put the ball into the back of the net for a 2-1 Bulls lead. As much as Hickory Ridge dominated play, one would think the game would be over. Que the win preserving save by Andreotti. With about a minute remaining, the Tigers lofted a pass into the box where Sr. Jason Hladik headed it out. Unfortunately, a MP player was nearby to volley the ball out of the air and launch a looping shot toward the top right corner of the goal. When out of nowhere Andreotti deflects the ball up ... and into his hands ending the last threat of the match and preserving the Hickory Ridge 2-1 victory.

video

Friday, September 17, 2010

Porter Ridge Pirates sink the Ragin' Bulls...again

Hickory Ridge has never beaten Porter Ridge and tonights game was no different.  The Bulls could never amount any firepower on offense and did not have an answer to the Pirate erial attack.

Simnply put the Bulls lost 46-6.

An open week could not come at a better time for the Bulls.

Check back in 2 weeks for recap of the game at Cox Mill on Oct 1.

Go Bulls!

Hickory Ridge Notches Key SPC Victory

Hickory Ridge entered this evenings soccer match vs. the Cox Mill Chargers solidly entrenched in 4th place in the SPC. The 3 teams ahead of the Bulls in the conference standings were, in order, Robinson, Concord, and Cox Mill. To say the Bulls needed this victory is like saying man needs water, like saying Abbott needs Costello, even like saying Matt Moore needs Steve Smith. It's just needed. It's understood. And with that, your Hickory Ridge Ragin Bulls pulled out one of the most scintillating, come from behind victories seen on the soccer pitch in quite some time. The Bulls drew first blood 4 minutes into the match when Sr. Matt Abbott slotted a pass between the two central Chargers defenders to Adrian Ike who found the goal to put the Bulls up 1-0. From there is was back and forth with neither team getting really great chances to score. However, with 12 minutes to go in the first half the Chargers found the equalizer as they slipped a shot past Drew Andreotti as he came out of the goal to challenge the shot. The final 12 minutes saw a flurry of chances for both sides just missing the go ahead score leading into half.




The second half was more of the same as the last 12 minutes of the first half. Each team took turns probing the other sides defense, challenging the respective keepers, and keeping the spectators on the edge of their seats. As the sun set and the sky glowed pink, the Bulls finally caught a break with the referee calling a foul just outside the box. Brandon Castillo took the free kick, curved it around the wall and into the side netting to put HR up 2-1 with exactly 6 minutes to go in the contest. As the clocked ticked down and the sun sunk lower into the horizern, it was looking more and more like a Bulls victory in regulation. Unfortunately, with about a minute remaining in regualation, the Chargers tied it at 2-2. Not to be defeated, the Bulls took the next kickoff and attacked swiftly with a cross by Abbott thwarted by just the slightest of touches by a Cox Mill defender just as Sr. Christ Faber was about to put in the game winner with seconds left on the clock. But as it was, the ball deflected low and Faber could only put his foot on the top of the ball instead of the side and regulation ended in a frustrating fashion for the Bulls.



OT started no better. In conference soccer play, there are 2 10 minute overtime periods and the final score at the end of that extra 20 minutes stands. With about 3 minutes left in the 1st period of overtime, the Chargers scored to go up 3-2. It was very deflating to both the crowd and the team. However, the experineced Bulls knew the game was not over and renewed their assault on the Chargers goal. Less than a minute later, Jr. Adrian Ike got fouled in the box and was awarded a penalty kick. Coach Wolfe immediately, and without hesitation, pointed to Adrian to take the kick. And he did. And he .... watched his line drive get stopped by the Charger keeper on an excellent diving save... except it crossed the end line!!!! GOAAAALLLLLLLLLL Hickory Ridge!!! Tied 3-3 going into the 2nd and final period of overtime. Whew. With yellow cards flying, tensions rising even more than they were, with both teams struggling to find the energy, the 2nd overtime period started with the Chargers in control of the kickoff. Again, both teams took turns challenging the other teams keeper until, with just under 7 minutes remaining in the second overtime, Chris Faber sent a cross from the right wing into the box where an onrushing Brandon Castillo deftly deflected into the left side netting for the go ahead, and eventual game winning, score. Bulls Win 4-3 and take at least a share of 3rd place in the conference, if not 2nd depending on the outcome of the Concord-Robinson game being contested at the same time. What a game. What a comeback. And without question, some of the best soccer displayed by the Bulls this season. Keep it up men, keep it up.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Hickory Ridge even their record at 2-2 after the road trip to East Rowan

Hickory Ridge took their first drive of the game and took an early 7-0 lead at East Rowan High this evening.   That was about all the first half offered by either team.  The Mustangs never got their offense going as the Ragin' Bull Defense responded time and time again. 

In the second half, your Ragin' Bulls scored in the 3rd period to double up the score board.  Brian Baltimore scored both of the short goal line hand offs. 

The Bulls had 1 last chance as the game reached the closing minutes, but could not push the ball over after 3 attempts from the 1 yard line.  The clock finally ran to 00 and sent the Ragin' Bulls home victorious.

Check back soon for more stats from tonight's game.

Next week the Bulls are in action at home hosting Porter Ridge.

Go Bulls!

Bulls suffer first conference loss of season

Hickory Ridge travelled to Concord for a key South Piedmont Conference contest and left with a disappointing 4-0 loss. Not many highlights to report on this match as Concord was faster, quicker to the ball, won all 50/50s and pretty much dominated play. The Bulls were on the defensive from the opening kickoff and never really challenged until the result was no longer in doubt. Hickory Ridge next plays next Tuesday night looking to get their mojo back as they travel to Central Cabarrus in another SPC battle.

Go Bulls!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

HR Soccer overpowers Mount Pleasant 10-1

It became apparent very early in the contest that 2A Mount Pleasant was going to be overpowered in the match against the 3A Hickory Ridge Bulls. Sure, the Tigers are a conference opponent in the SPC 3A conference, but the Tigers are the lone 2A school in the conference. The destruction started early and continued until the end. Alex Batson got things started with a goal 2 minutes into the match to put the Bulls up 1-0. The Sr. Midfielder added his second goal of the night 6 minutes later to put Hickory Ridge up 2-0. The onslaught continued with goals by So. Midfielder Kincaid Albers, Sr. Defender Jason Hladik, and Sr. Midfielder Chris Kline to put the bulls up 5-0. A score by Mount Pleasant was quickly answered by Sr. Midfielder Chris Fabers' goal to put the Bulls up 6-1 heading into the half.




The second half was more of the same with coach Wolfe substituting liberally and often. In fact, coach Wolfe continued his first half experiment of moving defensive players to the attacking position to get them valuable experience heading into conference play (1st half: center back Hladik to forward, defensive center mid Cline to forward, and center back Eric Frederick to forward). Chief among them was moving Sr. Jerome Means from his usual defensive midfield position to an attacking midfield postion. Jerorme responded quickly as he pushed a shot past the Tigers onrushing keeper to score the 7th Hickory Ridge goal of the game 5 minutes into the 2nd half. Sophomore defender Darren Ballesteros followed with his first goal of the season to make it 8-1 Bulls. The 9th goal was scored by Jr. midfielder, defender, do everything guy Jake Douglass as he scored his first goal of the season on a header off a cross from Jr. forward Brandon Castillo. A header by Jerome Means in the waning moments of the game completed the final scoring of the night for the dominant Ragin' Bulls.



The Bulls are now 5-1-1 overall and are starting to receive local and statewide attention. As of Tuesday, 9/7, the Bulls received their first ever mention and ranking in the Charlotte Observer Sweet Sixteen debuting at number 16 http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2010/09/06/1673400/sweet-16-soccer.html for their showing against Marvin Ridge and Mooresville the previous week. Statewide, the Ragin' Bulls are "Among Others Receiving Votes" in the NC rankings conducted by Eurosport.com. http://www.eurosportscoreboard.com/cgi-bin/sirkpt1.pl?Type=h&Div=3&Gender=m&State=nc&Season=10&Rtype=1&S=01. These are tremendous accomplishments and uncharted territory for the Hickory Ridge mens soccer team. A victory or draw over the next opponent, one of the conference favorites and Eurosport preseason ranked #15 Concord Spiders, on Thursday 9/9 at Concord High School will only solidify the local/state rankings and reward all the hard work put in by the young men so far this season. Good luck BULLS!

HR Soccer overpowers Mount Pleasant 10-1

It became apparent very early in the contest that 2A Mount Pleasant was going to be overpowered in the match against the 3A Hickory Ridge Bulls. Sure, the Tigers are a conference opponent in the SPC 3A conference, but the Tigers are the lone 2A school in the conference. The destruction started early and continued until the end. Alex Batson got things started with a goal 2 minutes into the match to put the Bulls up 1-0. The Sr. Midfielder added his second goal of the night 6 minutes later to put Hickory Ridge up 2-0. The onslaught continued with goals by So. Midfielder Kincaid Albers, Sr. Defender Jason Hladik, and Sr. Midfielder Chris Kline to put the bulls up 5-0. A score by Mount Pleasant was quickly answered by Sr. Midfielder Chris Fabers' goal to put the Bulls up 6-1 heading into the half.




The second half was more of the same with coach Wolfe substituting liberally and often. In fact, coach Wolfe continued his first half experiment of moving defensive players to the attacking position to get them valuable experience heading into conference play (1st half: center back Hladik to forward, defensive center mid Cline to forward, and center back Eric Frederick to forward). Chief among them was moving Sr. Jerome Means from his usual defensive midfield position to an attacking midfield postion. Jerorme responded quickly as he pushed a shot past the Tigers onrushing keeper to score the 7th Hickory Ridge goal of the game 5 minutes into the 2nd half. Sophomore defender Darren Ballesteros followed with his first goal of the season to make it 8-1 Bulls. The 9th goal was scored by Jr. midfielder, defender, do everything guy Jake Douglass as he scored his first goal of the season on a header off a cross from Jr. forward Brandon Castillo. A header by Jerome Means in the waning moments of the game completed the final scoring of the night for the dominant Ragin' Bulls.



The Bulls are now 5-1-1 overall and are starting to receive local and statewide attention. As of Tuesday, 9/7, the Bulls received their first ever mention and ranking in the Charlotte Observer Sweet Sixteen debuting at number 16 http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2010/09/06/1673400/sweet-16-soccer.html for their showing against Marvin Ridge and Mooresville the previous week. Statewide, the Ragin' Bulls are "Among Others Receiving Votes" in the NC rankings conducted by Eurosport.com. http://www.eurosportscoreboard.com/cgi-bin/sirkpt1.pl?Type=h&Div=3&Gender=m&State=nc&Season=10&Rtype=1&S=01. These are tremendous accomplishments and uncharted territory for the Hickory Ridge mens soccer team. A victory or draw over the next opponent, one of the conference favorites and Eurosport preseason ranked #15 Concord Spiders, on Thursday 9/9 at Concord High School will only solidify the local/state rankings and reward all the hard work put in by the young men so far this season. Good luck BULLS!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Ragin' Bulls make it 3 in a row over Central Cabarrus

The 2010 version of the Ragin' Bulls extend the winning ways over Central Cabarrus 21-14.

After a very sluggish start by the bulls, they really picked up their effort in the second half.  Central lead at the midway point 14-0.  An inspired Ragin' Bull squad rallied in the second half with a touch down by Brian Baltimore, then another by Cody Cothern.  The extra point was wide on the second TD, so Central held a slim 1 point lead late into the 4th quarter.

With 4:08 to play Central missed a field goal attempt giving the Ragin' Bulls the ball on their own 20 yard line.  Hickory Ridge started to see large chunks of yardage from Brian Baltimore and Cody Cothern.  Cothern around the right side scored the go ahead touch down.  Then on the 2 point conversion, Cothern lined up in the wild bull and again off the right side behind the blocking of Danny Book for a good 2 points.   Making the final score 21-14.

The Vikings coughed up the ball on their final possession that secured the win for Hickory Ridge.

Check back soon for game stats and our first look at conference standings which the HRHS bulls will share a place at the top of SPC.

Next week, HRHS plays on the road at East Rowan.

Go Bulls!

Friday, September 3, 2010

HRHS Soccer Wins!

Continuing a very good week of mens soccer for Hickory Ridge, the Ragin' Bulls knocked off 4A Mooresville in a back and forth affair 4-1. Don't let the score fool you, this game was much closer than the final would lead you to believe. From the opening tap to the final whistle, this game was an up and down affair complete with scoring, near misses, and hard play. After going back and forth with both teams having a go at attacking the other teams goal, the Mooresville Blue Devils went ahead at the 20th minute on a lightning counterattack after a turnover by the Bulls on an attack of their own. Not to be defeated, the Bulls stayed together, kept their composure, and went back to work. They finally marked the score sheet after Sr. forward Matt Abbott weaved through the defense and nestled a soft pass at the top of the box that Jr. forward Adrian Ike ran onto and put in the back of the net to knot the score at 1-1 with 7 minutes left in the first half. And that's how the half ended.




The Bulls had the ball to start the 2nd half and were rewarded for their hard work when Sr. midfielder Chris Faber found the back of the net 6 minutes in. From there on though, the Blue Devils picked up their game and attacked with vengeance. One Mooresville goal was called off because of offsides, one ball destined to be a goal was miraculously saved when Sr. defender Jason Hladik cleared the ball off the line just as it was going to cross it, and one ball just snuck over the top of leaping Sr. keeper Drew Andreotti's hands only to find the cross bar and bounce harmlessly over the touch line. As the tension built towards the final minutes and the Bulls clinging to a 2-1 lead, the Ragin' Bulls Adrian Ike put a seeing eye shot past the keeper and off the far left post into the net with about 2 minutes remaining to make it 3-1. Mooresville was not finished though and renewed their attack. Fortunately, the defense was able to clear the ball, send it into the attacking third where Jr. forward Brandon Castillo ran onto it rocketing a left footed missle just inside the left post to nail down the victory to the raucous appreciation of the relatively large home crowd.

Adrian Ike receives congratulations from Co-Captain Chris Cline and #16 Jason Hladik after putting the Bulls up 3-1 with 2 minutes remaining.




Go Bulls!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Bulls and Mavricks Tie Things Up 1-1

In a great early season test between unranked Hickory Ridge and the defending 3a State Champs and current #1 ranked Marvin Ridge Mavericks, the Ragin' Bulls soccer team pulled out an impressive 1-1 draw. The first 10 minutes saw the Bulls dominate play with a couple of missed opportunities to score culminated with a terrific assist from Adrian Ike to a sprinting Chris Faber to put the Bulls up 1-0 7 minutes into the match. Unfortunately, Marvin Ridge scored 5 minutes later to even the contest at 1-1. The rest of the first half was a fairly even battle that saw the only good opportunity to score thwarted by a terrific diving save by keeper Drew Andreotti.

Drew Andreotti makes a first half save against Marvin Ridge on Tuesday, 8/31


The second half was controlled by the Mavericks but the stout Hickory Ridge defense, led by center backs Jason Hladik and Eric Frederick and keeper Drew Andreotti, refused to yield a go ahead score to preserved the well earned 1-1 draw. To be sure there was disappointment on the Bulls sideline after the match for not pulling out the victory, but a 1-1 draw vs. the #1 team in the state is quite an accomplishment for the 2010 edition of the Hickory Ridge soccer team. Coach Scott Wolfe has a lot to look forward to this year.