How a team responds to adversity is one of the most telling signs between winning and losing in high school sports.

And in the season opener between Oceanside at Medomak Valley Friday afternoon, Aug. 31 to kick off the 2012 boys soccer campaign for both squads, it was the Mariners who rose to the occasion.

The Panthers (0-1) jumped to an early lead, but it was the Mariners (1-0) who rose to the occasion with a pair of goals late in the first half and held on for a 2-1 win on Pendleton Field.

R.J. Hall and Caleb Jacob netted goals for the winners, while Kaleb Robinson added two assists. Brandon Soper scored the lone goal for visiting Medomak Valley.

Philip Atwood minded the net for the Mariners, while Ryan Ripley was the keeer for the Panthers. Oceanside outshot Medomak Valley 16-10 and held a 7-1 advantage in corner kicks.

The hosts certainly hit their mark in that capacity, particularly in the first half, where they scored both goals off corner kicks.

Medomak Valley took an early 1-0 lead when Soper took a shot from about the 18-yard line that deflected off an Oceanside player and off the far post past Atwood with 30:48 remaining in the first half. However, the Mariners responded with a pair of scores of their own, to grab a 2-1 lead at halftime.

Robinson lined up a corner kick for Oceanside and placed it perfectly on goal as Jacob settled the ball in the goal mouth and beat Ripley to tie the game with 12:08 left in the opening 40 minutes of play.

Minutes later, Robinson again proved his worth off a corner kick, a shorter kick that Hall corralled and popped in between the goaltender and the near post with 6:11 left.

The two teams battled back and forth through the final 40 minutes to a stalemate, to give Oceanside the season- and home-opening victory.

Courier Publications Associate Sports Director Mark Haskell can be reached at 207-594-4401 or by email at