Friday, May 12, 2017
Briarwood Christian School
The Raiders took on the Briarwood Christian Lions in the AHSAA 4A-5A State Championship game last night. It was a battle of two great teams that both deserved to be in that game. The match was physical and fast-paced from the start and both teams were looking to get an early advantage. Briarwood was fast and pressed the Raiders back line. Randolph was trying to slow the game down and keep possession. Mid way through the first half Barrett Butler got a ball to the corner and played a beautiful shot across. The ball went sailing over the keeper’s outstretched hands and in to the net for the first goal of the game. Only six minutes later the Lions found the equalizer on a great through ball. The game went to the half 1-1.
The second half was just as intense. On a great individual effort, the Lion’s forward got past the defense and played a nice ball across to give the Lion’s their first lead of the game. The Raiders didn’t take long to answer. The Raiders got it down on the Lion’s end where Parker League was fouled. He took to the free kick and put it off the crossbar. Sean O’Hare jumped up to get the rebound and was taken down by a Briarwood defender in the box. The Raiders were given a PK and Sam Hartley hammered it home. The game was tied with just over 30 minutes to play. The Raiders were settling down and started to possess the ball more and more. They were looking for the game winner. The Lion’s fought hard and played a counter-attacking style, looking to play fast over the top. In the 67th minute Ian Krajna played a nice ball to Sridhar Karne wide. He dribbled past a defender and laid a perfect pass back to Sam Hartley. Sam hammered the shot into the back of the net to give the Raiders the 3-2 lead. The Raiders held on and claimed the 2017 4A-5A State Championship for Randolph.
The Raiders finish a magical season as State Champions. The team won 24 games and only lost two. They scored 119 goals and only allowed 24 with 17 shutouts. This is the seventh state championship for the Randolph Boys soccer program.