ROSE HILL - Mason Hiser kicked the ball downfield right before going out of bounds. Next thing Hiser knew, he was knocked to the ground and slid across the wet turf near the track.
Augusta's boys soccer team has had rough encounters with Rose Hill before. Tuesday night was no different as the Rockets controlled a physical match on way to a 7-0 win of the first round of Class 4-1A soccer Regionals.
With the loss, the Orioles' season came to an end with a 7-10 record. Coach Monty Rowland wasn't pleased with the way the Orioles played, nor the way the game got out of control at times.
"Very maddening," Rowland said. "I don't mind physical play. I hate dirty play. And when you take a kid that's out of bounds like that - but it starts with the officials. They've got to control that, and he should have sent a message right there and that would have been it."
Hiser was shaken up on the play, but was able to get back in. The match stayed chippy as the ref took a while before getting the players under control. Cards were issued for hits and words exchanged.
The penalties didn't affect the outcome of the match. Rose Hill's Alex Santo scored a goal on a header off a corner kick from Christian Helmke at the 33:00 mark. Just 21 seconds later, Helmke score on a placekick for a 2-0 lead. A few minutes, Rose Hill added a third goal and built a 5-0 halftime lead. Helmke and Parker Austin added second-half goals for the Rockets.
"We didn't come out and play the first half very well. We gave two own goals," Rowland said.
The Rockets will advance to play LeCompton, which beat Buhler 2-1 in the first round.
For the Orioles, it was the final soccer match for seniors Patrick Bruce, Kyler Steinkamp, Andrew Orocio and Jacob Lowery. The Orioles had several bright spots this season, but consistency was an underlying problem.
"Up and down," Rowland said of the team's season. "We played really well for a while, and then we can play like the first half [Tuesday]. It's hard when you've got two kids who play club ball and on the other team, everybody plays club ball."
Rowland said he plans on returning as head coach for at least one more season. Rowland departed as coach of the girls team earlier this year.
"I want to see this junior class through," Rowland said.