Luck changes for Dixon soccer
Published 4:33 am Saturday, November 23, 2019
A determined Dixon Bulldogs soccer squad sank their teeth into a sweet victory Tuesday night when they defeated First Flight with a penalty kick on the Nighthawks’ own turf in Kill Devil Hills.
With around 16 minutes remaining in the contest, senior midfielder Benjamin Ames (No. 9) sent home the game winner “PK” from point blank range.
The 3-2 triumph offered some payback for all the seniors who had lost against the ’Hawks on the same field in years past, said coach Kevin Hart and he added that some luck finally went their way.
For their efforts, Dixon (24-1-1) claimed the Eastern Regional Champion title and will suit up one last time this year to battle East Lincoln for the state 2A championship on Saturday, Nov. 23 in Cary.
In a tight, jubilant huddle near their bench, coach Hart got his guys going after the final whistles blew.
“We’re headed to the state championships!” he yelled. “You know why? You know why? You know why?”
“We won!” Hart screamed and his Bulldogs were barking loudly.
Later, he contributed the victory to a little luck, their ability to control and possess the ball in the first half and for being able to finish with goals when their chances came along.
In the first, Ames assisted junior forward Max Franken with the opening goal in the 24th minute of play. Later, “Sammy” Ames found Benjamin, or “Benji,” for the second goal.
First Flight came out of the half ready to play and scored two goals to tie things up. Tanner Bouker scored the first and Dominic Marino scored the second. But once the penalty kick was made, that was pretty much it.
Parents, players and even ’Hawks coach Juan Ramirez were all disappointed the whole season came down to a penalty kick.
Before they accepted their runner up trophy, Ramirez told his guys to have some pride and keep their heads up. Afterwards, Ramirez said Dixon was a “very good team” who pressured the ball successfully.
“Unfortunately, they won on a penalty kick,” he said, “which is horrendous.”
Ramirez also admitted that First Flight had their chances and the match could have gone either way.
“We worked hard all season,” he added. “The kid just broke through, got pushed, sold it (a fall) and they got it.”
For the veteran coach and his squad, all total, it was another successful season with an 18-4 final record. From here, they’ll do what they do every year – start working to get better for next season, Ramirez said.