By JAKE DONOVAN | Photos by DOUG HOSLER
Ravenwood needed a pair of late goals to take down Summit at home Thursday.
Senior forward Ben Barone and junior forward Cade Jackson found the back of the net in the final 13 minutes to secure a 2-0 victory.
“It’s a district game, so there are going to be games that will be competitive like this that you just have to fight your way through,” Ravenwood head coach Jose Londoño explained. “Some things you just have to figure out as the game goes. We talked to the team at halftime about more quality possessions – more quality in decision-making, better quality on first touches.
“Those differences in the second half were what ultimately won us the game. We need to work on playing that way from beginning to end.”
It was a defensive battle between the District 11-AAA foes for much of the evening, but still a tale of two games between each half. Summit dominated ball control over the course of the first half, but was unsuccessful in translating its time of possession into points on the board.
“No doubt we let some opportunities slip away,” Summit head coach Clay Watson confessed. “Make no mistake, we’re proud of the way these boys played as a team tonight and showed here, as well as versus Brentwood earlier in the week, that we’re capable of hanging with anyone in the district. It’s just a matter of creating those small moments in close games that will make the difference for us.”
As often as they controlled the ball in the first half, it was a spectacular defensive play that kept the game scoreless. Summit senior Tommy Smith alertly raced to a suddenly empty net to prevent a high kick from crossing the plain to preserve a scoreless game through 40 minutes of play.
It was a back-and-forth race across the field for the next 27 minutes in the second half before Barone found himself in the right place at the right time. Angling himself from the right side of the goal, the senior managed to place it just far enough out of the extended reach of goalkeeper Jackson Welch to score the game’s first goal.
“Once the ball was in the air, I knew I had to put it in the net,” an elated Barone said. “The adrenaline was flowing, the team was hyped up… once it went in, the game just completely changed after that.”
It didn’t take the fight out of the Spartans, nor did Jackson’s goal less than two minutes later, connecting on a corner pass from Jim Roebuck to provide a 2-0 lead. The final 11 minutes seemed to race off the clock when it came to Summit finding opportunities on offense to narrow the gap.
“The defensive effort by our team tonight, I can’t praise it enough,” Londoño said. “As the clock wound down, I was able to breathe a little easier. There’s still a long road ahead of us, but to head into the Easter weekend with another district win is truly a blessing. We just have to keep working harder, it’s that simple.”
Ravenwood next travels to Dickson County HS on April 20; Summit remains on the road, as it travels to Franklin HS for a district game on April 18.