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Blank’s 2 goals, assist helps CHS to season’s first win

Posted: March 8, 2018 4:10 p.m.
Updated: March 9, 2018 1:00 a.m.

Neal Blank found the back of the next twice and assisted on a third goal as the Camden boys’ soccer team collected their first win of the with a 3-2 victory over visiting Brookland-Cayce in a Wednesday night match played at the Camden High Athletic Complex.

The Bulldogs (1-3) opened the week with a 4-1 loss to 5A Sumter on Monday.

 “Overall,” said second-year CHS head coach Jerry Jones, “we played a very good match and got a much-deserved win after dropping our first three games of the season. We are looking to build on this win and keep our momentum going in our region opener (tonight) against Fairfield Central.”

 Camden opened the game by controlling the ball, moving well from side to side as well as up and down the field. “The boys had very good communication which helped lead to our first goal in the eighth minute of the game,” Jones said.

The first goal came on a ball played in by Blank on a throw in to Santiago Rubio, who was able to finish off for a goal on the near post. 

Later, in about the 27th minute of the match, the Dogs had several shot on goal which bounced around in the box that was eventually hit by Nick Marzullo. Marzullo’s shot ricocheted off a couple of B-C players that lead to an own goal. 

“We began to relax in the later stage of the first half that led B-C to have a few good chance on goal that led to see Chance King saving them and preserving our clean sheet until half time,” Jones said of his team’s play in the first 40 minutes of a match which was knotted at 1-1 at the break.

After an even start to a second half which featured quick counter-attacks from both the hosts and the visiting Bearcats, Camden was able to finish off one of its own in the 51st minute when Hunter Webb played a throw-in a few yards shy of midfield and delivered a pass Blank, who was able to beat and fend off a B-C player and was able to finish it off for a goal on the near post. 

Camden then averted being tied by the Bearcats. “Shortly after (Blank’s goal),” Jones, said, “we got caught sleeping in which we got very lucky that B-C had a shot and that it hit both posts before bouncing back out were Ryan Robles was able to clear it to safety.”

In the 61st minute of play, CHS gave away a foul in which B-C was able to play the ball over the defense that the forward was able to finish with ease. It took the Dogs a matter of 30 seconds to score of game-winner as, on the kick off, Blank played the ball back to J.D. Myers in the middle of the field. Myers then played it out wide to Webb, who took the ball up the line and eventually played it into Jouse Rojas who slipped it in through to Blank who finished it off for the goal. 

“That was the best play of the match and showed the boys resolve to being scored on,” Jones said of the scoring play.

Against Sumter, Jones said, his team’s play and intensity dropped after a strong start in the first 10 minutes of the match. That led to the Gamecocks scoring a pair of goals off Camden defensive errors and take a 2-0 lead.

“We had a few good opportunities to get back into the game but J.D. Myers, Hunter Webb, Neal Blank and Jouse Rojas just could not finish them off,” Jones said.

After those near-misses, Sumter tacked on a third first half goal to extend its lead to 3-0.

Camden averted the shutout with a goal in the opening minutes of play in the second half as Rojas sent a long pass to Webb, who found himself one-on-one with the goalkeeper. Webb sent a low liner into the net to draw the Dogs within 3-1.

“Again, we had a few really good opportunities in about the last 20 minutes of the match that, again, we were unable to finish off,” Jones said. “Overall, we played a decent game against a very fast and knowledgeable Sumter High but, a team that is very beatable.”

Camden opens Region 4-AAA play tonight when the Bulldogs travel to Winnsboro to meet Fairfield Central in a 7 p.m. start.

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