Hammond’ hasn’t had much luck against Cardinal Newman, the second-ranked SCISA boys soccer team, so far this season. The third-ranked Skyhawks, however, pulled off a major surprise Monday in Summerville by toppling No. 1, defending state champion Pinewood Prep 2-1 in a shootout thriller.
Matthew McClam scored Hammond’s lone goal in regular play, and keeper Jack Felmly, with plenty of defensive help from his teammates, kept the potent Panthers, who came into the match averaging nearly seven goals per outing, pretty much in check.
In the decisive penalty-kick shootout session, the Skyhawks proved superior with a 5-3 edge in successful conversions. McClam, Pat Hutchinson, Braeden Troyer, Rob Grosslight and McIver Prickett all beat Pinewood keeper Robert Beebe to steal the win.
It was the first loss to a SCISA foe this season for the mighty Panthers (14-2-1) whose only previous setback came against 4A public school Wando back on March 10.
Hammond likely will finish second to Cardinals Newman (13-3-1, 7-0) in Region 1-3A this season after winning the championship last season. The Cardinals need just one win to clinch the region’s No. 1 state playoff seed. The Skyhawks (11-3, 6-2) dropped both region outings to the Cardinals in a span of four days early this month. Still, Monday’s outcome should make things very interesting come playoff time.