4 goals, ‘heart’ lead Rockets to conference title

 

By Kevin Spradlin
PeeDeePost.com

* Photo gallery – more than 1,100 images

ROCKINGHAM — It was the first time in recent memory that a boys soccer match involving Rockingham Middle School suffered a storm delay.

Less than 14 minutes into the Southeastern Middle School Athletic Conference against Hamlet on Tuesday, that’s exactly what happened. And 30 minutes later when play resumed, it was as if nothing had changed. Not even a little bit.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com Evan Hudson finished with a goal and an assist in a 4-1 conference championship victory over the Red Rams.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com
Evan Hudson finished with a goal and an assist in a 4-1 conference championship victory over the Red Rams.

The Rockets rolled to a 4-1 victory for their second consecutive conference title. The win capped a perfect 13-0 season.

Before the storm, Carlos Alcocer-Vidal slashed a well-placed corner kick right in front of Chris Ratliff, who booted it into the net for a 1-0 lead only seven minutes and seven seconds into the match.

A Hamlet goal four minutes later was negated by an offsides call.

The storm came at the 16:48 mark of the first half. When play resumed, it took the Rockets only a few minutes — five, to be exactly, along with 23 additional seconds — to score again. Alcocer-Vidal scored the goal and Jahyae Stanback was credited with the assist.

Rockingham led 2-0 at halftime.

Alcocer-Vidal again tapped a corner kick to Evan Hudson, whose header 4:56 into the second half gave the Rockets a 3-0 lead.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com

Garrett Goodwin prevented the shutout when he cut through traffic and squeezed the ball past Rockingham goalie Bobby Terry with 21:33 left in the match.

Alcocer-Vidal tallied his second goal of the match when, with 1:58 to play, he took a pass from Hudson and made it count.

Hamlet coach Earl Nicholson told his team after the final whistle, and The Pee Dee Post shortly after that, he’s not one to make excuses. At the same time, he knows the strengths and weakness of his team — and goalie Jaylynn Sturdivant wasn’t one of the former.

“He gave it his all,” Nicholson said of the injured Sturdivant, hobbled by an unspecified injury.

The Red Rams finished the 2015 campaign with a 9-2-2 record. Their only two losses were to the Rockets. They also tied West Hoke and Sandy Grove Nicholson, however, expressed optimism for next season as this  year — with 17 seventh-graders on a 24-man roster — was supposed to be a rebuilding year.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com Garrett Goodwin notches Hamlet's only goal in a 4-1 loss to the Rockets on Tuesday in Rockingham.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com
Garrett Goodwin notches Hamlet’s only goal in a 4-1 loss to the Rockets on Tuesday in Rockingham.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com

 

Filed in: Featured News, Hamlet, Latest Headlines, Outdoors, Rockingham, Sports

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