Rangle leads Spring Creek past Southwest Onslow
By Ryan Hanchett
Published in Sports on November 7, 2009 11:09 PM
SEVEN SPRINGS -- The buzz is growing.
The largest soccer crowd of the season filed into "The Swamp" on Saturday afternoon to watch Spring Creek take on Southwest Onslow in the second round of the N.C. High School Athletic Association 1-A boys' soccer playoffs.
And the Gators' fans left with smiles on their faces.
Ricardo Rangle scored two goals and tallied an assist in a 3-1 victory over the Stallions in a physical and fast-paced game. No. 2-ranked Spring Creek (16-2-1 overall) entertains Raleigh Charter in a third-round contest either Tuesday or Wednesday.
"I told our guys to expect the physical play," said Spring Creek head coach Paul Estrada said. "I have seen some of the coastal teams play and that seems to be their thing. They want to be the aggressor and they want to control the pace."
The Stallions' strategy was their downfall.
Tied at 1-1, the Gators earned a make-or-break opportunity in the 77th minute. A foul near the Southwest sideline resulted in a free kick for Spring Creek. Rangle stepped up to the ball and fired a laser into the upper right 90 of the net.
"What can I say about that young man," said Estrada. "(Ricardo) is our senior leader and he came through in a big situation. That was a great shot."
Rangle collected a loose ball on the Gators' side of midfield during stoppage time and fired a pass to center field. Antonio Avila raced between defenders and punched a shot past the oncoming Stallion keeper to complete the scoring.
Spring Creek owned an 11-6 edge in shots.
The Gators, who earned just their fourth postseason victory in program history, grabbed an early 1-0 lead on Rangle's penalty. Southwest Onslow collected the equalizer on a second-chance PK. Spring Creek keeper Angel Sanchez made a brilliant diving stop on the Stallions' first attempt, but the referee ruled that Sanchez had moved forward before the dive.
Mark Williams made the most of the opportunity and scored his team's lone goal. Keeper Danny Prevatte kept the Stallions in the game for the next 18 minutes despite a majority of the action taking place in his team's end. Prevatte tallied five saves on the afternoon.
Sanchez recorded three saves for the Gators.
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