HURRICANE, W.Va. - In their awakening from the middle of the high school soccer pack, South Charleston players know all the teams that have kept them there.
That has made some victories this fall so much sweeter. Case in point: the Black Eagles' 3-1 win Thursday night over defending Class AAA state champion Hurricane.
"We've been using that as motivation," said SC coach Ronnie Means. "Me and Ryan Broyles, who has been here five years with me, we keep track of teams that have our number, and Hurricane's been one of those teams.
"We challenged the kids today to come out and match their intensity."
Which they did, and it took them just 12 minutes to be rewarded. Derek Nelson took a cross from Jonah Crosby behind the 18-yard box and blasted it by Hurricane keeper Tim Hayslett for a 1-0 lead.
That lead stood up past halftime, but the Redskins tied it in the 52nd minute on Chris Smith's goal, assisted by Guillermo Ugarte. But that tie lasted just three minutes.
It was in that 55th minute that Chris Brown found Jared Butler at the top of that 18-yard box, and Butler might as well have put the ball on a tee. The junior appeared to nearly whiff on the shot, but still got enough on it to get it forward, and Hayslett was fooled by the change of pace.
"That was about the farthest back on my foot I couldn't have gotten it," Butler said. "It works."