WALES — Oak Hill junior forward Cooper Spencer sparked a comeback for the Raiders.

No. 8 Oak Hill scored four unanswered goals for a 4-3 win against No. 9 Winthrop in a Class C South boys soccer preliminary round game Friday. The Raiders will take on No. 1 Waynflete on Wednesday in the regional quarterfinals.

Spencer scored two goals in the win Friday.

“I came off the field after the first half frustrated with my team and myself; we (only scored once), but I knew we were a second-half team,” Spencer said. “Oak Hill has known to be a second-half team. We came out and proved that today.”

Spencer started the comeback late in the first half.

Spencer, who hit the crossbar earlier in the first half, put Oak Hill (9-6) on the board after trailing 3-0. Teammate Ethan Vattaso’s shot in the box trickled past Winthrop (8-7) goalie Jaxon August and Spencer put the ball in the open net with under two minutes remaining before halftime.


Oak Hill coach Bill Worth said the Raiders’ efforts finally were rewarded.

“I think that’s where some of the frustration is; we kept taking the shots and we kept getting the ball (into the 18-yard box),” Worth said. “No matter what we did, it wasn’t going in. It was nice for them to recognize the hard play and that goal at the end of the first half is from driving and pushing through people and finishing hard.”

The second half started with a frantic pace. Winthrop began with a few scoring chances but a Raiders defenseman stopped a shot at the goal line and then Raiders goalie Cade Fessenden (nine saves) made a diving save.

Worth said Fessenden played well in the final 40 minutes.

“Certainly, from my angle here on the sidelines, some of the shots I knew in my head were going in,” Worth said. “For him to make that diving save to the right post to keep us in the game was certainly critical.”

Winthrop coach John Baehr said the first 15 minutes of the second half were critical.


“I told the guys (at halftime), the first 10-15 minutes was huge,” Baehr said. “Oak Hill was down 3-1 at the half and they weren’t going to come out (in the second half) not on fire.”

Oak Hill flipped the field and started to put some shots on August (13 saves), but like his counterpart Fessenden, he made a few diving saves to keep the game 3-1.

Off a corner kick, Oak Hill’s Lukas Bergeron was fouled in the box and left the game with an injury at the eight-minute mark. A penalty kick was called, and Drew Hatala’s shot beat August inside the left post to cut the deficit to 3-2.

Bergeron returned to the game later.

Spencer tied the game when his shot from the sideline curled beneath the crossbar into the net 10 minutes after Hatala’s PK. Spencer’s intention wasn’t to score.

“I wasn’t expecting it to go in,” Spencer said. “I wanted to get the ball near the net so one of my teammates can get an attempt. I just watched it carry, carry and go right over the goalie. It was pretty cool to see that.”


Defenseman Ethan Lemont scored off a direct kick outside the box, as he corralled the ball in the box and kicked it past August to give the Raiders the lead.

Winthrop had a few chances in the final five minutes. Fessenden stopped a few shots while the Ramblers also had a shot go wide, then a shot hit the post in the final minute.

“I am proud of how they battled back,” Baehr said of his team. “They had a couple of close chances at the end. I am proud of this group; we had a successful season.”

The Ramblers jumped out to a quick 1-0 lead when Fessenden misplayed the ball inside the 18-yard box and Winthrop forward Iker Penniman chipped in the ball four minutes into the game.

Winthrop scored two goals in the middle of the half. Gabe Corey headed in a direct kick from Penniman for a 2-0 lead at the 22-minute mark.

One minute later, Tyler Shumway scored from a long distance and Winthrop led 3-0.


Baehr said he couldn’t ask for a better start to the game.

“We played as a team; we attacked the guys we wanted to attack,” Baehr said. “The biggest thing is we played together the first 25 minutes by sharing the ball.”

Worth said the Raiders have an idea of what to expect from Waynflete.

“We went and watched them the other day; they are certainly a talented team,” Worth said. “They have great passes, great skill, great depth to their bench. They are a solid team.”

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