PROVIDENCE—For a team that’s struggled to finish its scoring chances this season the South Kingstown boys soccer squad certainly picked a good day to find its touch around the net.
Friday the Rebels (8-2-0 Division I) emerged from a wild, back-and-forth second half to secure a 4-3 victory at Hope (5-4-1 Division I).
“We’ve been getting a little better at that,” SK coach Scott Rollins said of his team’s ability to finish chances. “Today was weird because it was our defense that let us down a little bit but hey, win is a win and this is a tough place to play.”
If South has shown anything this season it’s that it’s a win or bust kind of team, as the Rebels are just one of four teams in D-I that has yet to have a tie this season.
“We don’t usually tie at South. We’re either a win or loss kind of team,” Rollins said. “I like these kids. They’re a hard-working group and a couple times they could have quit in this game but they didn’t.
“…Sometimes in the past we’ve faded down the stretch and we’re trying to avoid that this year. This team’s pretty tough and resilient, which is great.”
Based on how the second half started out Friday against the Blue Wave you couldn’t help but feel as if one team was going to leave with three points and the other with none.
The two teams played to a 1-1 draw in the first half – with SK getting a goal from senior Matt Roberts midway through the half to tie the game – but Hope surged out of the break as senior striker Komia Dogbey headed in a goal to give the home team the lead once again.
South had the answer just a few minutes later though, as Mike Gross perfectly placed a ball over the top of Hope’s keeper from 25 yards out to knot the game at two-apiece.
Feeling the momentum, SK took its first lead when senior Steve Pepe found the back of the net to put SK ahead 3-2 but the lead would be short-lived.
After drawing a penalty kick on a questionable call in the box – which ultimately led to a yellow card for Rollins – Dogbey completed his hat trick by tucking the ball inside the left post for the score.
The Rebels would not be denied their three points though, as SK answered with less than 10 minutes remaining in the half when senior Nathaniel Gates finished off a beautiful assist from Gross to give South the lead for good.
“Nate’s been playing very well in practice and he was in the right spot at the right time,” Rollins said. “It was a great finish.”
Dogbey gave the Rebels – and for that matter most teams in Division I – fits Friday and had a chance late in the game but his strike proved to be just off the mark.
“He’s fantastic,” Rollins said. “He’s big, he’s strong, he’s fast and he’s the whole package.”
SK was back in action Tuesday at unbeaten Barrington (results unavailable at press time) and will close the week Friday at 6 p.m. when it hosts Hendricken.