EASTWOOD – Seniors Mason Carte and James Carmichael played huge roles under pressure in the AA/A No. 5-ranked Ravenswood Red Devils' 2-1 soccer win over AAA Riverside Thursday night at Eastwood.
In a game that got chippy and then downright nasty at the end, Carte scored both of the Red Devils' goals—the first on a 25-yard hammer shot off an assist from fellow senior Jesse Mize in the 13th minute; and the second (what proved to be the game winner) on a penalty kick with 10:36 left in the first half to break a 1-1 deadlock. Carte drilled the penalty shot high right and it kissed off the gloves of the diving Riverside goal keeper (Austin Ballengee) and into the upper front of the net.
Carte's game winner came after Riverside had knotted the game on a penalty kick of its own in the 21st minute of the first half. Dylan Chapman drilled the kick into the right side of the net as Ravenswood keeper senior James Carmichael guessed left.
However, it was Carmichael who got the last laugh on Chapman as part of a gigantic defensive game.
In the 63rd minute of the game with Ravenswood clinging to its 2-1 lead, Riverside was awarded yet another penalty kick. Chapman again did the honors, but this time Carmichael guessed right and blocked Chapman's laser shot to the right side of the goal. The follow-up chip sailed over the goal and Ravenswood still led.
Riverside attacked frantically in the final 16 minutes with Carmichael answering every challenge. A shot hit the crossbar with 11:26 to go and the following chip again sailed over the goal.
Carmichael made another clutch save on his knees in from of the goal with 8:40 to play.
And another in the final minute, holding the ball cradled in both arms as the final seconds ticked off. It was then that things got less than cordial.
For the game, Ravenswood outshot the Warriors 15-11.
Carmichael recorded 12 saves—none bigger than his stop on the crucial penalty kick with 17:00 to play.
Austin Ballengee had 11 stops in goal for Riverside.
In addition to Carte and Carmichael's heroics, the Red Devils played well overall with everyone contributing. It was true team win.
Ravenswood won 6-2 at St. Marys Tuesday, scoring four goals in the second half.
Mason Carte recorded his third hat trick for the season with three goals. He added a pair of assists.
Pat Berry added two goals and two assists; Dalton Gandee a goal and an assist; and Nathan Cunningham, an assist.
The Devils led 2-1 at the half after a slow start but got things in gear down the stretch.
Ravenswood (6-1) is ranked No. 5 in the AA/A Division and 14th overall in state soccer. Four of the top five ranked teams in AA/A are in the Devils' region.