Coach: Tony Houston
Congratulations to our High School Boys Soccer team, runner up in District Championship! Great Season! Proud of our Kicking Bucs as their season comes to an end!
May 8th, 2014 9:10 pm by Douglas Fritz
After years of living in the shadows of soccer giants Science Hill and Dobyns-Bennett, playing on ETSU's spacious field gave Sullivan South the kind of fresh-air breath it needed to capture a district title.
Creighton Shivell was the point man, using his head to left the Rebels to a 2-1 victory over University High in the championship game at Summers-Taylor Stadium on Thursday.
Shivell scored on a pair of headers as the Rebels capped off their first year in 1-A/AA with a title.
South (9-8-2) will play host to Chuckey-Doak in Tuesday's Region 1-A/AA semifinal contest. University High (4-7-1) will travel to take on District 2-A/AA champion Greeneville, which improved to 13-3-1 with a 5-0 win over Doak.
All of the goals for UH and South came in a span of four minutes early in the first half. The Rebels struck first as Cole Killen delivered a cross and Shivell headed it into the net.
One minute later, University High's Ramiro Rodriguez got an open look from the top of the box in the middle of the field and ripped it into the net to tie the game.
Unfortunately for the Buccaneers, Shivell still had a direct line of sight two minutes later. He caught Colton Young's cross with his head and banged it true to give the Rebels the final score of the game with 66 minutes still remaining.
Shivell said he was unimpeded to the ball on both scoring occasions.
"They didn't mark us, and when I made a run on the back side I was wide open," said Shivell. "(Each cross) was a perfect ball. On a big field with all of this space, there was plenty of time to get a good ball across."
South head coach Keith Parker said the goals were something his team was looking for after spending a big portion of the season on a small home field.
"We talked about it all week," said Parker. "With the width of the field, we wanted to cross the ball to the far post. We like a big field."
For UH head coach Tony Houston, it was partially a matter of some missing weapons — most notably Lowell Williams, who posted a hat trick before suffering an injury in the 3-0 win over South just nine days ago and did not play in this game.
"We're still dealing with key injuries," said Houston, who took over as head coach in the middle of the season. "But South has a good team. I feel this rivalry building up. I thought our kids battled to the end, and gave it their all."
© 2014 Johnson City Press
April 29th, 2014 10:36 pm by Pat Kenney
KINGSPORT — It was billed as a showdown.
It turned out to be a smackdown.
With the District 1-AA boys regular-season soccer crown on the line, University High's Lowell Williams scored three goals in the first 17 minutes of the game and the Junior Bucs made that hold up in a 3-0 win over home standing Sullivan South that secured the title.
"I feel like we played as a team today," said University High coach Tony Houston. "I've been telling the guys if they used teamwork on both ends of the field they would be a hard team to beat."
The Junior Bucs (2-1-1 District 1-AA) also earned a bye into the finals of the upcoming district tournament.
The final outcome was a bitter pill to swallow for the Rebels (6-8-2, 1-1-2).
"We didn't play any defense in the beginning," said South coach Keith Parker. "We changed things around in the second half and I thought we controlled the ball and outplayed them but just couldn't put the ball in the net."
Down 3-0 when the second half started, South's offense went into overdrive. The determined Rebels pressured the University High defense into 11 second-half corner kicks, but none produced a shot on goal.
South had 14 shots on goal over the final 40 minutes of play, with four of those on frame.
Junior Bucs freshman goalkeeper Luke Wexler became the man of the hour. He made four crucial saves in the second half to preserve the lead.
"There were a lot of shots in the second half that could have gone in, but my defense came up big," Wexler said.
© 2014 Johnson City Press
April 11th, 2014 9:56 pm by Douglas Fritz
University High and Elizabethton used to be on an island, and therefore were forced by the TSSAA to join up with teams like Greeneville, Grainger and Cumberland Gap for a far-flung soccer region.
Now the Cyclones and Buccaneers have their own little league since Sullivan South moved to the Class A-AA ranks.
Right now, the Rebels (1-0-1) and Buccaneers (1-0-1) have the upper hand in league play over the Cyclones (0-2-0). But each of the teams will play again, and then they will do it all over in the district tournament.
Here's an update look at University High and Elizabethton:
The Buccaneers have struggled a bit against the bigger schools, but where it counts they are right on track.
UH defeated Elizabethton in a recent match, and earlier this season played to a 1-1 tie against Sullivan South. Head coach Victor Chirica said his team should have had the win against the Rebels.
"We hit the post twice, and we pretty much dominated the game," said Chirica. "They had a free kick from about 30 yards away in the last minute and a half of the game, and they were very lucky the ball went over our goalkeeper and went in. It was pretty much the only chance they had."
Leading the way for UH, which has a record of 2-3-1 overall, is a strong and consistent defense. Seniors Johnny Burke and Alex Destefano join Logan Webb to create a wall in front of goalkeeper Luke Wexler.
"I like what I see," said Chirica. "They work together really well, and they know each other. They've played together for quite some time. They understand the game."
In the midfield, Chirica relies on two of the team's top players: senior Wesley Ongtengco and junior Lowell Williams.
"They help the team a lot," said Chirica. "They control the ball very well, and they are very skillful players. They are technique players. I've been blessed to have them in there, and I'm very happy with the job they do."
Up top, sophomore Dani Houston has been the main man.
"He's good with both feet," said Chirica. "He's a very technical player."
Overall, Chirica said he feels good about the way his team is performing.
"I feel pretty confident," he said. "But you never know how the kids are going to play. One day they are good, and the next day they aren't.
"We need to work on communication on the field, and be more disciplined. We need to be more serious about the game."
Chirica said he expects a tougher game if his team meets Elizabethton again, and Greeneville is once again expected to be the top team in the region.
© 2014 Johnson City Press