The Long County High School soccer teams on Tuesday faced two of the toughest teams they will play all season when they hosted Benedictine Military School and Saint Vincent’s Academy.
The Blue Tide took Benedictine, which came into the boys’ game as the No 5 team in the state, according EuroSportscoreboard.com, into penalty kicks before falling, 1-0. Meanwhile SVA, No. 7 in the AA girls’ rankings, downed the Lady Tide, 7-0.
After scoreless regulation and overtime periods, the Blue Tide’s Alex Toledo, Alberto Nervarez and Francisco Maji punched in their penalty kicks. However, the Cadets were able to put in four of their shots to have the top showing in the best-of-five shootout.
Despite the loss Blue Tide Head Coach Paul Austin praised his squad for going toe to toe with one of the top teams in the state.
“All my players did awesome, (I’m) so proud of them. It just hasn’t went our way yet,” he said. “We have had three tough losses, with each coming to the wire … if it’s exciting games you like, then we are in them. Now, we just need to change the outcome of them.”
The girls’ game didn’t have quite as much drama. It was the first time this season that the Lady Tide have been shut out.
“We moved the ball good in spots, but this was the fastest and most aggressive team we have seen all year,” Long County coach Brian Todd said. “No doubt they are the best in the region … our defense hung in there, but they just wore us down and kept firing.”
Despite the loss, Todd said there was no panic in his players and that they still were in a good spot in the region.
“The past two games were good tests to see where we are,” he said. “Right now, we are sitting in third place in (Region 2-AA) and look to get back on the winning side of the ledger next week.”
With the losses the Long boys fell to 2-3 overall and 0-3 in the region, while the girls dropped to 3-2 and 1-2.
On Tuesday, the Tide teams are at home again to face Atkinson County. Action begins with the girls’ game at 5 p.m.