SOUTH CHINA — Erskine senior captain Ryan Rodrigue staked out some space in front of the Mt. View net and hoped Jake Suga could execute the set play off a corner kick with the teams engaged in a tight battle Tuesday afternoon.
“We’ve worked on this play a lot,” Rodrigue said. “I was ready for it.”
Was he ever.
Suga lofted a well-placed corner kick in front of the net and Rodrigue did the rest, blasting a header past keeper Mikey Hustus about 15 minutes into the second half. The goal was the difference as Erskine held on for a 2-1 victory over Mt. View in an Eastern B game.
“It was pretty much how we drew it up,” Rodrigue said. “It was a perfect cross and I just got my head on it. It felt good coming off the head.”
Erskine improved to 3-0-0 and continued its run of strong defensive play. The Eagles have allowed just two goals in three games. Mt. View, which had its chances late, dropped to 2-2-0.
“This was an important game,” Erskine coach Phil Hubbard said. “We only see Mt. View once, and that is a very good team. They are a playoff team and so it’s important to win some of these big games.”
Trevor Hubbard also scored for the Eagles while Suga finished with two assists. Jared Gartley, the lone senior in the Erskine starting lineup, had four saves.
Vittorio Frascolino scored an unassisted goal while Hustus had seven saves for the Mustangs.
“We got outplayed,” Mt. View coach Chris Hink said. “Period. We didn’t work hard enough. We had to outplay them and we just didn’t do it.”
Trevor Hubbard gave the Eagles a 1-0 lead with 4:12 left in the first half. The goal came off a Suga corner kick.
“It was a very nice cross,” Trevor Hubbard said, “and (Joe) York had a nice deflection. I was in the right place at the right time. I wasn’t looking to aim it. I just turned and shot it.”
It stayed 1-0 until Frascolino tied it with 32:20 left in the second half. After two Erskine defenders got crossed up, Frascolino dribbled in alone on the Erskine net and tucked a low shot by Gartley to the far post.
“When it got to 1-1, I was thinking that we couldn’t let down our intensity,” Phil Hubbard said. “We couldn’t let up.”
Erskine didn’t and about six minutes later it grabbed the lead again.
“We got the goal but then we got flat again,” Hink said. You just can’t get complacent, which is what we did. You can’t get complacent against a team like that.”
The Mustangs generated a few good scoring chances late, but Gartley and the Eagles defense held on to preserve the victory.
“This was our biggest challenge so far,” Rodrigue said. “It’s nice to start out really strong.”
Bill Stewart — 621-5640