Rocks beat Florence for Class 4A state soccer title
By Joseph W. Gex, II
Feb 11, 2014, 20:41
The St. Stanislaus Rock-a-chaws pose with the Class 4A state championship soccer trophy and state championship banner following their 5-0 victory on Saturday over Florence.
The St. Stanislaus Rock-a-chaws needed only about 15 minutes to wipe away the nerves of playing for the Class 4A state championship against Florence High School on Saturday, February 8th at Clinton High School. After that, it was all SSC as they throttled Florence 5-0 to claim their sixth state soccer championship.
SSC head coach Ryan Joiner commented, “The game went very well after the first 15 minutes. Florence took it to us in that time span; however, after that we settled down and played our style. Our nerves played a big part in that. But, once we found ourselves we did what we were accustomed to doing which was press high and control the ball.”
Evan Lundgren had an MVP afternoon for the Rocks as he tallied a hat trick in the game. While he did not score the first goal of the game, he did have a role in it. Lundgren drew a foul in the 12th minute of the game that sent Dustin Bosch to the penalty line for the kick. He converted on the shot and made the score 1-0.
Lundgren broke through the defense for a nice shot on the goal from 30 yards out with less than two minutes in the first half. The Rocks went into halftime with a 2-0 lead.
Joiner stated, “At halftime, we talked about getting a third goal quick and early in the second half. With that type of lead, they would be forced to play catch-up soccer.”
Lundgren and the Rocks found the net twice in about 10 minutes early in the second half to push the score to 4-0. Then, with 16 minutes left in regulation, Matthew Ticker ripped the net off an assist by Lundgren to make the final score 5-0.
Lundgren finished the game with three goals and two assists while Bosch had a goal and an assist.
Joiner added, “When I came to meet the guys back in May, I asked them all for their contact information when they signed up. I told them then that if they were not willing to commit to winning a state title don’t sign up. This is an accumulation of all their hard work. These players are defined by their hard work and success rate. They are blue-collar type soccer players. My assistant coach, Jake Forstall, and I challenged them every day to get better. We practiced with speed and precision and we played the same way. We played our most complete game of the season and finished our chances.”
The Rocks lose only three senior starters in Johnny Longo, Austin Ladner and Logan Walton. The other seniors are Trey Asher, Michael Haas, Chase Zimmerman and Brenton Field. The Rocks figure to be part of the road to the title for many years to come.
In fact, many inquired about when the process will begin to defend their title on the way home from Clinton Saturday evening. Joiner was quick to answer with a brief two-week rest period before off-season weight training and running begins.
The Rocks ended their season with a 17-7-1 overall record after going 6-11 overall in 2013. They were undefeated and unscored on in the playoffs. The Rocks won their post-season games 1-0 over Northeast Jones, 2-0 over Newton County, 1-0 over Bay High and 5-0 over Florence.
Joiner ended, “We played our best and most complete game in our last game of the year. I want to thank the community for supporting us all year long with 600-700 fans at every game. It was very impressive every game out.”
This was the Rocks’ sixth state soccer title and the first since 2010. The Rocks won state title in 1996-97, 2003-04 and 2010. Florence ended their season with a 14-10-1 overall record.