Unbeaten, second-ranked Batesburg-Leesville opened the Region 3-2A boys soccer campaign with a 3-1 win over Gilbert on Tuesday.
The Panthers, coming off a 13-4 season and a 3-1 run in the Class 2A state playoffs, received two goals from Carlos Hernandez and one from Jon Dachenhaus in the conquest of the high-scoring Indians. Hernandez, a newcomer to the B-L fold, leads the team in the early going with six goals. Dachenhaus, a returning all-region performer, has scored in three straight games after drawing a blank in the season-opening win over former region rival Emerald, which ruled 3-2A for years before being moved to a new home thanks to realignment.
“With the level of experience we have (five returning seniors), we're hoping to contend for the region title and make a strong push towards the playoffs,” said Panthers coach Jason Mouzan.
The returning starters include Returning starters: Dachenhaus, Kurt Bostelear,Jose Miranda, Ben Grime, Logan Grime, Michael Oswald, and BJ Hall. Miranda, Bostelear, Grime and Oswald joined Dachenhaus on the all-region team last year.
Grime is second on the team with five goals, ringing up two in back-to-back wins over Barnwell.
Eight-ranked Gilbert fell to 4-4 and last three of its five regular season matches after going 2-1 at its own Schlotzky’s Soccer Classic preseason tournament.
Eliese Cedillo, who scored 14 goals in Gilbert’s first six matches, failed to find the net in the past two games. Gustavo Des Los Ryes had the lone Indians tally vs. B-L, and has six scores on the books.