Wednesday, October 26, 2016
Kings Mountain High School
Shelby High School
With the second place in the SMAC soccer conference at stake, the Mountaineers traveled to do battle with Shelby High on Wednesday evening. The match began with the home team coming out strong and controlling the first few minutes of action on an emotion filled senior night. Neither team could get a good look at their opponents goal in the first 20 minutes of action. Then Luke Rikard took a pass from Josue Molina just inside the box and blasted a nice shot that just sailed wide of the Lion net. The Lions threatened on several long throw-ins but were turned away time after time by Mountaineer keeper John Harris IV.
Will Robinson got on the end of a long Kings Mountain throw-in by Brandon Quevedo-Johns that was cleared off the Lion goal line by a defender with 10 minutes left in the first half. Robinson also made a fine play as he took a semi-cleared corner kick, beat a Shelby defender and played a super dangerous cross that again was cleared by the home team. Shelby would get a good open shot at the Mountaineer goal but the shot was high, wide and not so handsome with just 3 minutes left in the first period. After a nice senior night presentation at the half, the Mountaineers almost spoiled the night as Josue Molina had an open look from just inside the box that was handled by Shelby keeper Avery Gay. Silas Goss made a long run out of the midfield and almost penetrated the Mountaineer defense with 20 minutes to go in regulation. Josue Molina made a super run down the right flank and nearly connected with Luke Rikard in front of the Shelby goal with 12 minutes remaining. The match would end as it started in regulation as neither team could finish their opportunities. The match was played pretty wide open as each tried to counter the other with some quick passes but their attack faltered as they neared the final third. Nolan Raby had a super game in the center midfield with Chase Yow shut down the dangerous Lions attack time after time. Center-backs Brandon Quevedo-Johns and Holden Bullock played very stong roles in staying solid with their defensive shape for the Mountaineers. After 80 minutes of regulation play, the two teams continued to battle for an additional 20 minutes of scoreless play. It was a shame that such a hard fought match did not find a winner at the end. The Mountaineers finished the regular season with a 18-4-1 record and a third place in the SMAC Conference. Shelby finished in second place, a half game ahead of Kings Mountain and a game and a half behind Chase who won the conference for the second straight year.
The Mountaineers will now await the state playoff pairings until next Wednesday when all the teams in the eastern half of the state will conclude their seasons. They will be hosting a first round match and the match will be played on Saturday, November 4th. The opponent and time will be determined after the pairings are announced.