Tuesday’s tilt between Woodbury and East Ridge was billed as a night to celebrate both Woodbury-based squads, with signs and rally towels across Woodbury High School featuring the phrase: “Raptor-Royal Night.”
But by the time the rivalry match had finished, the tone was more about a shocking upset.
In front of a large crowd with plenty of support for both teams, the Raptors bested their crosstown rivals, as handing the Royals their first loss of the season in a 3-1 contest that will shake up the race for the Suburban East Conference championship.
Entering the game, East Ridge did not have the undefeated record, nor the No. 3 ranking in the Class 2A coaches’ poll like Woodbury, but the Raptors (5-2-1, 3-1-0) have found success of their own.
And Tuesday was a chance to make some noise against their chief rival.
“Playing against the other team in your city is a big motivator for us,” said East Ridge senior Reese Dodd. “Plus, you add in the fact this team was 9-0. But not anymore.”
In a battle between crosstown rivals, underdog East Ridge came out ahead Tuesday night as the Raptors bested previously unbeaten Woodbury 3-1 at Woodbury High School.
The Raptors pulled off the upset in large part thanks to the offensive prowess of juniors Josh Tong and Cameron Kor. Tong scored the first goal in the 15th minute, connecting from long distance off a pass from Kor.
In the second half, the duo struck again as Kor added his own goal to make it 2-1. Then, Tong added his second goal of the match late, giving East Ridge some breathing room with a 3-1 lead.
Woodbury, ranked No. 3 in the Class 2A coaches’ poll, scored its only goal when senior forward Dylan Felth capitalized on a late rush in the first half to setup a 1-1 tie going into halftime.
The Raptors (5-2-1, 3-1-0) became just the second team this season to score more than one goal against Woodbury’s defense, and the combo of Royals (9-1-0, 3-1-0) goalies Austin Williams and Dominic Cuoco. Williams made four saves in the first half before transitioning to forward. Cuoco was in net in the second half and made two saves.
Junior goalkeeper Nick Wagner made seven saves for East Ridge.
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