May River boys’ soccer survived an offensive shootout with Wade Hampton on Friday, edging the Red Devils 8-7 to stay unbeaten in region play.
Joel Fleek scored a hat trick and Mikey Chappelear scored two goals and assisted on three more to help the top-ranked Sharks avoid the upset.
May River started fast, as Conner Golden scored in the second minute and Chappelear assisted on Fleek’s first goal in the fourth minute for a quick 2-0 lead. Hampton answered with three straight goals before Fleek converted another Chappelear assist to tie it in the 26th minute.
The Red Devils regained the lead at 4-3 four minutes later, but Chappelear scored off a Nick Lewis assist just before halftime to tie it at 4. The Sharks began the second half with a flourish, as Golden, Chappelear and Chris Pineda scored goals in the first eight minutes of the half with assists from Chappelear and Jackson Stove.
Hampton quickly answered with two goals to pull within 7-6 before Fleek converted a penalty kick to complete his hat trick in the 76th minute. The Red Devils scored just before the end of the match to pull within one but did not have time to find the equalizer.
Tony Rodriguez made five saves in the win.
“Defensively, we were a mess in the first half. We got much better in the second half, but their size advantage killed us on the set pieces, where they scored most of their goals,” May River coach Misael Garzon said. “Kudos to Hampton for fighting all game. Glad our boys were able to maintain their composure and pull out a big region win.”
The Sharks (13-1, 4-0) have won nine straight heading into a region match at Ridgeland-Hardeeville on Tuesday.
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