High School Sports

Stallions fend off Bearcats in OT

Rock Hill's Fernando Gonzalez and South Pointe's Landon Ard battle for control.
Rock Hill's Fernando Gonzalez and South Pointe's Landon Ard battle for control.

South Pointe remained unbeaten with a 2-1 overtime win at home against Rock Hill on Tuesday. The game came down to penalty kicks after a pair of scoreless five-minute overtime periods.

South Pointe goalkeeper Michael Arevalo made two straight stops as the Stallions took the match with a 4-2 advantage on penalty kicks.

The Stallions, in just their second year of varsity play, are off to a 7-0 start. South Pointe is 4-0 in Region 3-AAAA.

Rock Hill just cracked into the state's rankings this week at No.14. The loss dropped the Bearcats to 5-1, 3-1.

Rock Hill's Andrew Jewell scored on an assist from Christian Bono at 3:49 of the first half. The early goal held for nearly 70 minutes.

South Pointe tied the game on Andrew Gorosopa's breakaway score at the 33-minute mark of the second half. Rock Hill had a throw-in that was headed out of the box by a Stallions defender. Gorosopa took control of the ball and crossed midfield. Rock Hill's lone defender slipped, allowing Gorosopa to go one-on-one with Bearcats keeper Tripp Spradley.

Spradley raced toward Gorosopa and slid in to cover the ball. Gorosopa bounced the shot off Spradley and the ball was left bouncing slowly toward the net. Gorosopa tapped the ball into the unattended net to tie the game.

"(Gorosopa) took a touch further in than I would have liked him to," South Pointe coach Frank Vickery said. "I would have liked him to take the shot 10 feet sooner than he did but it worked out."

Vickery called the match a huge win for his team.

"We knew Rock hill beat Fort Mill and Lancaster last week. They have size and speed," Vickery said. "We needed to do what we practice to beat them."

South Pointe had the best scoring opportunity in overtime. Garrett Phillips had an open shot from about 10 yards out that missed high, just over the goal.

Both teams converted penalty kicks on the first attempt. But Arevalo stopped Matt Cascio's shot, batting away the chest-high kick to the left side of the goal.

Rock Hill's Philip Raad tried the right side of the goal only to have Arevalo come up with another save. Raad's shot was head-high. Arevalo was positioned perfectly and knocked the ball away.

"I look at their eyes," Arevalo explained. "Mostly, it's just a guessing game but I kind of stare them down before they shoot. I try to play mind games with them."

Garrett Keough, Gorosopa, Landon Ard and Raul Petrovich all connected on penalty kicks -- into the left corner -- to give South Pointe the win.

Rock Hill and South Pointe tied for third in the region last year. Rock Hill got a higher postseason seed due to its schedule. The Bearcats lost at South Pointe a year ago and earned a season split with a win at Rock Hill.

Rock Hill coach Lorne Brandt is hopeful his Bearcats can do the same again this year.

"Give South Pointe a lot of credit. They are a good team," Brandt said. "But we can still finish ahead of them at the end of the season."