Andalusia edges PCS

Published 12:05 am Friday, March 22, 2013

Andalusia’s Ashton Evans (17) advances as teammate Hiten Patel (12) brings the ball forward. Will Parker (background) assists.                            Andrew Garner/Star-News

Andalusia’s Ashton Evans (17) advances as teammate Hiten Patel (12) brings the ball forward. Will Parker (background) assists. | Andrew Garner/Star-News

Bulldogs win 2-1, Evans scores 1st goal on header

Andalusia senior Ashton Evans experienced a first Thursday night — scoring a goal with his head.

The basketball turned soccer player helped set the tone early for the Bulldogs as they beat Providence Christian School 2-1 to clinch a berth in the Class 1A-4A state playoffs.

Late in the first half, PCS added a goal off of a penalty kick to bring the game to 1-1 going into halftime.

At the start of the second half, the Bulldogs (9-0, 4-0 in Class 1A-4A, Area 2) had plenty of scoring opportunities to go ahead by a few goals, but the ball never found the net.

Kevin Rooks, who was Andalusia’s savior Tuesday night against Houston Academy, also of Dothan, kicked a laser off of Trey Ossenfort’s header from the 25-yard line to give the Bulldogs their game-winning goal.

AHS coach Tim Ramsden said he saw the best he’s seen this season from his players on attacking the ball.

“We actually played better in midfield and up front today than we have pretty much all season, but our defense was not good today,” Ramsden said. “We struggled in defense a lot, but we seem to find a way to win every time, so I’m happy with that.”

Ramsden said the team will work on defense over spring break next week.

Andalusia still has to face Charles Henderson in area action two times this season. The Bulldogs play the Trojans on the road April 5, and at home on April 19.

This win didn’t make the Bulldogs area champions because AHS would need to win out in order to claim the regular season area title.

“We’re not area champs, but we at least secured a second place spot,” Ramsden said. “We know we got to the playoffs.”

Early in the first half, Evans’ goal came off of a corner kick from Hiten Patel.

Before Patel knuckled the ball to the senior winger, Evans said he switched late with Will Parker on who would block the goalie.

“Hiten Patel knuckled it in,” Evans said. “It came down to me a little bit. I just had to place it.”

Ramsden said he was proud of Evans’ getting his first goal.

After halftime, the Bulldogs received a slight scare when Patel’s brother, Hiren, went down with a groin injury. A few minutes later, Hiren checked back in and went straight back to action.

Rooks’ goal came off of another corner. In the box, Ossenfort got a piece of the ball on a high header and it went out to the striker, who made solid contact for the score.

Ramsden said Rooks played at the sweeper position when he scored the goal against HA Tuesday night.

“I actually put him up on the corner, and he scored directly off of a corner and kind of did the same thing today,” the coach said. “He’s a set piece, an aggressive type player.

“On certain set pieces, I want him up there,” he said. “We put him back up there and it worked again. Obviously, that was a great shot.”

PCS had a good try to tie the game up again on a free kick from the center part of the field.

Andalusia senior goalkeeper Chris Smith wouldn’t have any of that.

On the strike, Smith dove to his right and made the mid-air catch.

“COME ON! LET’S GO!,” Smith yelled.

From there, the Bulldogs held on with good defense for the win.

Andalusia’s next game will be the April 5 contest in Troy against Charles Henderson.