Vikings spoil Blue Devils’ home opener
Story and photos
by Mike Maddock
A couple of heavyweights in the world of high school boys’ soccer met at Memorial Stadium Tuesday, February 28. The Dreher Blue Devils, ranked fourth in Class 3A, faced off against the Spring Valley Vikings ranked third in Class 4A. The game was the regular season opener for both schools.
The Vikings took control early in the first half taking seven shots on goal. Then with 19:45 remaining in the first half, sophomore forward Kris Hartvigsen broke through the Dreher defense and scored an unassisted goal.
That goal seemed to wake up the Blue Devils who controlled the final 19 minutes of the first half. Dreher out–shot the Vikings 7–0 and tied the match when Carl Anderson launched a rocket from 30 yards out that sailed over Spring Valley goal keeper Davis Jenkins tying the score at 1–1.
Spring Valley started the second half much like they started the first half with five shots to Dreher’s zero. Dreher did not get a shot off until the midway mark of the second half.
Spring Valley head coach Dave Clark said, “That was a real gut check for us after we missed that penalty kick.”
The score was tied until Viking Sean Flynn maneuvered for a score ten yards from the Dreher goal with 13:45 remaining.
Again the Blue Devils seemed to receive a wake– up call spending much of the final 20 minutes in Spring Valley territory. But the Blue Devils could only muster a few shots including another rocket attempt from Anderson. Trying desperately to even the contest, the Blue Devils defense gave up a final score to Patrick Clements.
Clements made a nifty tackle and stole the ball from a Blue Devil then worked his way to the left side of the field. He then kicked across his body and past the Dreher goal keeper to score at the 4:10 mark.
Dreher head coach Richard Rowell was disappointed the Blue Devils couldn’t finish on several opportunities, but said, “The majority of the game we played as well or better than Spring Valley. We just gave up a few easy ones. But we played well. Spring Valley is very talented and very strong.”
Coach Clark said, “Our non–region schedule is really tough, but we feel it helps prepare us for region play and the playoffs. The Blue Devils are tall, physical, and play with great skill.”
The Blue Devils play host to Swansea March 2, then travel to Hillcrest March 8.
Spring Valley travels to Mauldin March 3 and Blythewood March 4.