The Crestwood High School varsity boys soccer team gave a valiant effort on Friday against region-leading Hartsville, and although the result was quite a bit better than that in their first meeting, a 7-0 debacle in Hartsville, the Knights still …
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The Crestwood High School varsity boys soccer team gave a valiant effort on Friday against region-leading Hartsville, and although the result was quite a bit better than that in their first meeting, a 7-0 debacle in Hartsville, the Knights still came up on the short end of a 2-0 score.
With the win, Hartsville improved to 13-6 overall and 5-1 in Region VI-4A. Crestwood fell to 3-3 in region play and 7-4 overall with the loss, though the Knights remain in a tight race with Lugoff-Elgin for second place in the region.
Crestwood head coach B.J. Ray was pleased with the way his team performed on Friday and said the team, which lost 12 seniors from last year's 13-9 team that lost to Chapin in the second round of the state 4A playoffs.
"We played a lot better than we did the first time we faced them," said Ray, whose team has three more games remaining, all of them coming up this week. On Monday, Crestwood will face Manning at 7 p.m. at home, then travel to face Lugoff-Elgin at 7 p.m. on Tuesday and will finish at home at 7:30 p.m. Friday against county rival Lakewood.
"We still have to step up and play two more region games, Lugoff-Elgin and Lakewood," Ray said. "I was not as hopeful (after losing 12 seniors) as I am right now. I've got a great sports staff and a lot of coaches helping me out."
Ray has three sons, Jonathan, Thomas and Bobby, on staff, along with Trey Thompson and former Crestwood goalkeeper Aaron Griffin, now in goal for USC Sumter.
"He said he wanted to help out and volunteered," Ray said of Griffin. "Hopefully he's going to stay around so we can utilize his skills."
Crestwood battled the Foxes more or less even through the first 75 minutes of the game, but Hartsville finally broke on top with a fortunate bounce during some confusion in front of the Crestwood goal. The Foxes' Josh West was credited with the goal. West led Hartsville with the goal and an assist on the second goal, which was scored only a few minutes after the first, this one a more emphatic shot from Caleb Caldwell.
Both teams were short-handed, with Hartsville playing without two starters and Crestwood playing without starting goalkeeper Kalvin Coppok, who suffered a concussion during the Knights' 1-1(5-3) PK shootout victory over Governor's School for Science and Mathematics on Thursday. Ray said he was pleased with the play of his freshman JV goalkeeper Graecin Wilber, whose hustle kept the Foxes off the board and growing increasingly frustrated throughout much of the game.
Hartville controlled the action through much of the first half, generating most of the scoring threats until the Knights came alive near the midway break and began to pressure the Foxes' defense. The second-half points were as much a product of Hartsville settling down and focusing on pressuring the goal after some chippy play and being given too many opportunities to score.
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