That’s how Ardrey Kell boys soccer coach Kim Montgomery describes her team. And the word was a perfect fit for the Knights’ 10-1 rout of Hopewell in a first-round 4A West playoff game on Wednesday at Hopewell.
After giving up an early goal that created a 1-1 tie, Ardrey Kell (15-6-2), seeded No. 18, blitzed the No. 15 seeded Titans for nine unanswered goals to advance to a second-round match at No. 2 Providence at 4 p.m. Saturday.
“You can’t take anybody for granted in the playoffs,” Montgomery said. “It’s a clean slate. So when they tied us with that early goal, we put the pedal down. We have a pretty good attack, and my challenge has been to get them to love playing defense just as much.”
They weren’t bad at limiting the Titans’ opportunities, but under the circumstances, it wouldn’t have mattered much.
Zhuvonte Wilson, who will play for the Charlotte 49ers next fall, scored twice for Ardrey Kell. Carter Glade had a goal and three assist. Michael Valenstein, Frank Cincotta, Luis Hernandez, Jack Hitchcock, Jeremy Leutge and Daniel Curulla also scored a goal each for the Knights.
Ardrey Kell’s Cameron Reinhardt scored the game’s first goal about 3 minutes in, but Hopewell (9-12-1) struck back just a couple of minutes later, getting the equalizer on junior defender Austin Clamon’s header in the goalkeeper’s box off Tyler Santee’s throw-in.
But the Titans couldn’t build on that success.
“We’ve depended a little too much on the set piece goals like that,” Hopewell coach Robb Bolar said. “They came back and got a few goals and that rattled us. They set the pace and we were never able to adapt.”
Ardrey Kell scored four goals in the remaining 30 minutes of the first half to take a 5-1 lead at the break.
“It was like a heavyweight fight, just a one-sided one,” Bolar said. “We kept getting back up, but they kept knocking us back down.”
The second half played out pretty much like the first, with the Knights scoring on a 10-yard shot by Hitchcock about 3 minutes in, and then bunching two pairs of goals together in the middle and near the end of the half.
“We’re fast and relentless, and I think that’s going to be our strength here in the playoffs,” said Montgomery, whose team finished third in its conference.
NOTES: The two teams played in the regular season, with Ardrey Kell taking a 4-1 victory…Ardrey Kell played Providence twice during the regular season, losing 2-1 and 3-2.
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