Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Bulls soccer suffer 2nd conference defeat

The last time the Hickory Ridge Bulls lost a soccer match it was in Concord 11 games ago. The next loss was suffered tonight against that same Concord team by nearly the same score. Not a way to celebrate senior night in the last regular season home game of the 2010 campaign. Indeed, the game was not even 15 seconds old when the Bulls suffered a key injury to starting left fullback Garrett Hill that sent him to the sidelines for the night with a left shoulder injury. On the ensuing free kick, Concord scored the first goal on a 2nd rebound shot after the first 2 were successfully thwarted by Sr. keeper Drew Andreotti. And just like that, the Bulls were on their heels playing defensively the rest of the first half. Hickory Ridge did miss a golden opportunity to equalize when a free kick of our own sailed over all the defenders to Jr. Brandon Castillo who had a wide open net, but unfortunately Brandon was unable to get a good leg on it and the shot caromed to the Spiders goal keepers waiting arms. Concord scored their 2nd goal with 2:02 remaining in the first and that's how the half ended.

The resolute Bulls kept their composure to start the 2nd half and immediately went on the offensive putting good pressure on the Spiders defense. Unfortunately, the Bulls got caught in a counter-attack that left them in a 3-0 deficit with 33:45 left in the game. Rather than fold on this senior night, the Bulls continued attacking and returned to the style of play that made them successful all year, albeit a bit too late. The ragin' men were finally rewarded with about 5 minutes to go in the contest with a penalty kick that Sr. Alex Batson neatly placed past the Spiders keeper to make the score 3-1. Unfortunately, the men ran out of steam, gave up a PK of their own in the last seconds of the contest that was successfully converted by Concord, and the heavily contested game came to a sputtering close, 4-1 Concord.

There is still a slim chance for a conference championship, but 2 losses to Concord puts the Spiders in the drivers seat for their first SPC conference championship in soccer. Hickory Ridge finishes conference play Wednesday Oct. 27 at Jay M. Robinson. A victory ensures the men of no worst than 2nd place in the conference and keeps their slims hope for a championship alive.

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