2019-03-15 / Sports

Dreher slides by Hammond

By Tim Gochnaur


Dreher’s Justin McElveen dribbles down the field against Hammond. Photo by Jim Marczesky Dreher’s Justin McElveen dribbles down the field against Hammond. Photo by Jim Marczesky “It just takes one,” said Dreher head coach Jamie McClendon.

The Dreher Blue Devils boys’ soccer team got the one it needed off the right foot of freshman Justin McElveen, a laser from 30 yards out in the 72nd minute, to defeat the Hammond Skyhawks 1-nil on the pitch at Memorial Stadium Thursday,, March 7.

“ We had a lot of chances tonight,” McClendon said. “Hammond is the defending (SCISA 3A) state champion. They have good players and are very well coached. I am really proud of the guys. We just have to find a way to finish. Give Hammond credit. They had a good game plan.”

The chances for Dreher came by the bushel. Dreher got 14 shots on goal in the first half, holding Hammond to just three. The Devils finished with 24 shots on goal; Hammond had seven. Skyhawk keeper James Runge reeled in 12 saves for the Skyhawks. Roland Herbkersman pulled in three saves at the Dreher net.


Hammond keeper James Rungee soars to gather the save against Dreher. Photo by Jim Marczesky Hammond keeper James Rungee soars to gather the save against Dreher. Photo by Jim Marczesky McClendon’s Devils are now 6-1 on the year, and the coach is happy with where his team is now and optimistic about where they can go.

“ We have played some big 5A schools and the champions and runners up in SCISA,” Dreher’s soccer boss said. “That is really good competition, and that is what we prepare for to get ready for the conference and playoffs. We are way ahead of where we were last year. We still have a lot of work to do, but these guys always fight hard. They never let down. They do exactly what we ask them to do,. They buy into the program.”

On the other side of the field, Hammond head coach Adrian Pinasco pilots the fortunes of the defending state champions in SCISA 3A soccer and says he is “very pleased” with the “fantastic” effort his players have given so far this season.

“Not the result we were looking for,” Pinasco said. “I have to be honest, we were not looking for a result. We specifically and strategically schedule a preseason of public school competition, which should be the toughest you can play in Columbia. It is to see where we are as a team, see what the players need to do to be better. Then we go back home and watch film and evaluate the areas we need to improve the areas we are excelling and get ready for the season.”

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