Victory over Oak Hill thrusts Boys Soccer into playoff picture

It's still a little early, but if recent history is any indication the Rockland boys soccer team may be headed toward a playoff berth. After stumbling out of the gate, the Tiger boys have played very well of late. Until Friday, Sept. 25th, they had little to show for it. However, their efforts produced results on Friday - and vaulted them into the playoff picture with six games remaining on the season. Brandon Jimenez header, off a soft Luke Morrill feed from the 18-yard line, found the back of the net midway through the second half and Rockland held on for a 1-0 victory over Oak Hill. The Raiders came into the game with a 6-1 mark and, as Rockland has done all season, the Tigers played up to their opponent. "We played really well as a team today," said Rockland head coach Josh Mahar. "It's nice to have it pay off." Rockland had put forth a similar effort the previous game against Maine Central Institute. The Tigers dominated play for much of the game only to see the Huskies tie the score in the final minute and steal a victory in overtime. That didn't happen on Friday. With Rockland goalie Gentry Burch turning away a handful of quality Oak Hill scoring chances, the Tigers created a number of thier own. The game winning goal was the culmination of an offensive rush that lasted over a minute. Morrill intercepted a clearing attempt at the 18, looped a soft through-ball over the top of the Raider backline, and watched as Jimenez guided the ball just inside the near post. With the victory, Rockland moves from 12th to 7th place in Eastern B - directly into the thick of the playoff chase. "This was an important game for us," said Mahar. "We've been playing much better the last few games. If we can continue to play this way, who knows what can happen?"