Freshman Anson Girone had two first-half goals and Ashley Ridge scored on a late penalty kick to earn a 3-2 win over Blythewood in the second round of the Class AAAA boys soccer playoffs.
Ashley Ridge (17-5) advances to face Wando in the third round Saturday.
Nearly 10 minutes into the match, Dalton Robinson crossed the ball to Girone, who put the ball into the net for a 1-0 Ashley Ridge lead.
In stoppage time, Seamus McKinney crossed the ball to Girone. Blythewood (14-12) had a man on him, but the defender was too aggressive and Girone rolled off him and sent a shot into the left corner of the net for a 2-0 Swamp Fox lead entering halftime.
The Bengals answered in the second half with a goal by Raaqim Rispress in the 45th minute and a goal in the 59th minute that deflected off a Swamp Fox defender and into the Ashley Ridge goal.
“They always say the most unsafe lead in soccer is 2-0, so I knew there was a possibility they would come back,” Ashley Ridge coach Nate Harris said. “Blythewood gave 100 percent effort tonight and just worked so hard, so we knew if we made mistakes, they could capitalize, and they did twice. But I’m proud of our boys for hanging in there. We did have quality scoring opportunities, we just didn’t finish all of them.”
Late in the game, Girone crossed to senior Joseph Goodwin, who was knocked to the ground by the Blythewood goalkeeper while trying to make the play.
The official awarded Ashley Ridge a penalty kick, which senior Sean Watson connected on for the game-winning score.
“They came out and attacked real well and we didn’t handle it the way we should,” Blythewood coach Peter Wittig said. “But we made adjustments at the half and I’m proud of the way we came back. It’s just unfortunate to lose a game on a penalty kick like that.”