Richard Stroud

Grove Sun

GROVE – Three goals in the first 13 minutes of the second half earned the Grove Ridgerunners their second win of the soccer season with a 5-1 victory over Westville Friday night. Junior forward Gabe Rodriguez scored twice during the three-goal burst after the Ridgerunners led 2-1 at the half. Both times Rodriguez ran through the left side of the Yellowjacket defense before putting the ball in the back of the net. Rodriguez missed out on several opportunities to net a hat trick during the final 25 minutes of the game. Oscar Flores opened the scoring for the Ridgerunners with a shot from nearly 30 yards away. Flores had hit the post nearly five minutes earlier after getting the pass from Rodriguez. Flores’s near miss was one of several near-misses for the Ridgerunners over the first 20 minutes of the game. But Westville would tie the score minutes later when a loose ball after a free kick somehow bounced into the back of the Grove net. Jerrod Hayes would put Grove (2-6) back into the lead with a shot from 15 yards out after a scramble in front of the net following a throw in. The goal marked the first time Grove had scored more than one goal in a game this season. But the Ridgerunners weren’t done, pouring it on in the second half, getting three more goals in the second half. Kyle Earp also scored in the second half for Grove, putting in a shot from 20 yards out to make it 4-1.   Westville 1, Grove 0 (girls) After battling to a scoreless draw for 70 minutes, a late score by Westville’s Ashley Rhodes proved to be the game-winner for the Lady Yellowjackets (5-2). Rhodes’s score came on a pass from Hannah Frisch after a corner kick. The game was one of near misses for both teams. Grove’s Jessica Hamilton had the best shot for either team in the first 20 minutes, sailing a shot from 15 yards just over the top of the crossbar. Rhodes nearly scored with six minutes left in the first half. After winning a loose ball on the left sideline, Rhodes juked past a couple of defenders on a 30-yard run, but her shot from 10 yards out hit the upper right corner of the crossbar. The Lady Ridgerunners would own the first 20 minutes of the second half, dominating the ball and keeping the pressure on Westville. But Grove (1-7) couldn’t capitalize, missing on a couple of shots. After Rhodes’s goal, the Lady Ridgerunners could not muster another offensive opportunity.