BATESBURG-LEESVILLE — The Newberry High School boys soccer team took advantage of favorable scheduling Tuesday evening and swept Batesburg-Leesville in varsity and jayvee soccer.
Both B-L teams are rebuilding this year, and the ‘Dogs were happy to take advantage of the construction process. There was little home field advantage, as the Newberry fans outnumbered those on the Panther’s side.
In the varsity match, which was played first to minimize the impact of predicted inclement weather on the playoff schedule, the Bulldogs dominated from the start with the defense rarely letting the Panthers penetrate beyond mid-field.
Nine minutes into the match, Jose Lozano passed to Erick Arroyo who fed it back a few yards down field. Lozano drilled it into the net to put the ‘Dogs on the board. Three minutes later Joel Alvarez, playing in the center, dished to Arroyo on the left. Arroyo worked through a B-L defender and placed the ball in the corner of the net for a 2-0 lead with 28 minutes left in the half.
At that point, the Panthers pulled together for their best defensive stretch of the night. With 21:15 remaining in the half, Pablo Reyes initiated a charge for the ‘Dogs by maneuvering down field and feeding Arroyo who worked past two defenders and kicked-out to Alvarez, who drilled a low shot at the goal.
The B-L keeper made a nice sliding save to keep the score at 2-0. The Panthers were unable to generate offensive opportunities, but their defense held-on to keep the Newberry lead at 2-0 at halftime.
In the second half, the ‘Dogs kept the Panther defense spread out using precision passing.
Six minutes in, Alvarez passed to Arroyo near mid-field. Arroyo worked the ball all the way down the side and crossed the ball into the box where Logan Ransdell struck for a 3-0 Newberry lead.
Three minutes later, Rudolfo Sosa expertly dropped a corner kick in the opposite side of the box where Lozano headed it passed the keeper to make it 4-0. Newberry’s final goal of the night came on a give-and-go with 9:30 left as Victor Mendoza passed to Jerry Ezesarte who led it back to him on the run.
Mendoza nailed a 25-yard strike and Newberry left with a 5-0 victory. The Bulldogs took their 11-2 record to Abbeville Thursday night. Results were not available at press time.
NHS JV v. B-L JV Boy’s Soccer
The halves in the JV match were limited to 25 minutes in anticipation of inclement weather, but that didn’t stop the ‘Dogs from scoring their most points of the season.
The Bulldogs got off to a slow start with many early shots missing high and wide, but once they zeroed-in, the Panthers, with limited personnel to substitute, could not keep pace.
With 10:58 left in the half, Lesandro Bautista lobbed a corner kick into the box where a rushing Ulises Benitez headed it in for a 1-0 Newberry lead. Three minutes later, Will Rumfelt led to Jose Hernandez who maneuvered past several Panther defenders on the right side line and drilled a shot to make it 2-0.
With mere seconds remaining in the half, Bautista again dropped a corner shot in the box where Mahonri Chavez placed a header beyond the goalie’s reach for a 3-0 lead going into the half.
The ‘Dogs needed no warm-up in the second half.
Barely two minutes in, Wesley Cooper forced his way past the Panther middle defenders and laid the ball on the right to a waiting Matthew Allen who slammed the ball in for a 4-0 lead. Two minutes later, Bautista refused to give up on a ball that appeared to be headed out of bounds; he raced and punched it back to the middle where Javarius Phan worked free for a power strike into the net.
The Bulldogs kept the pressure, and with 17:44 remaining, Matthew Allen intercepted a Panther goal kick and dished over to Phan for his second goal of the night. With just under five minutes remaining, Phan made a crossing pass from the left to Bautista who struck from five yards outside the box to make it 7-0.
The final score of the night came when Ulises Benitez took a power shot outside the box. The B-L keeper was able to get a glove to it, but the momentum carried it in, giving the ‘Dogs the victory at 8-0.
The biggest setback of the night came when the ‘Dogs attempted to give JV Coach (and assistant Varsity Coach) Michael Newhall a Gatorade bath after the final game of the season for Newhall, a student at Newberry College.
The ‘Dogs plan was foiled and Erick Arroyo took the brunt of the soaking.
The JV team ends the season at 9-1.