Aldair Anica-Hernandez has been one of the offensive stalwarts for the Reynolds boys soccer team all season. 

He proved to be just that on Wednesday night, scoring late in the game to help the top-seeded Demons slip past No. 9 Charlotte Providence 2-1 at frigid Bolton Soccer Complex. 

Reynolds (17-2-1) will play host to No. 4 South Mecklenburg (19-3-1), which defeated No. 5 Cornelius Hough 6-1 Wednesday night, at 1 p.m. on Saturday in the quarterfinals. 

With temperatures dipping below 30 degrees and the teams playing to a 1-1 tie, the game Wednesday night had all the signs of going to overtime. But Anica-Hernandez took a ricochet off goalkeeper Cameron Carter that initially came off Edwin Meza of Reynolds, and Anica-Hernandez fired it into the net for what proved to be game-winner with 2:10 left. 

"I don't know, Edwin just shot it. It like bounced off the goalie, and to be honest I thought the goalie was going to grab it, but he looked like he didn't know where the ball was at, so I just like ran and got it and scored."

Before Anica-Hernandez scored, Reynolds was getting some opportunities.

"He was Johnny-on-the-spot and he's a player that can do a lot of great things," said Coach Tony Sabio of the Demons. "But it's fantastic when you have a player like that's in the right spot at the right time to do the simple things.

"Some of it I missed, actually, with the way that things are. But it is what it is and I'm just glad that our boys stuck together pulled through for this win."

It was a tough pill to swallow for Providence (17-5-2), which defeated West Forsyth in penalty kicks on Saturday to reach the third round.

"We knew they would counter. We knew they were quick," said Coach Nicolas Sosa of the Panthers. "And sometimes no matter how much you game plan, you can't game plan for speed and that. So you just hope you can hold it down as many times as you can, and then when you get your chances you've got to finish.

"Like I told the boys, it's part of the game. There's nothing you can do about it. But I think they were deserving. They played great. They're a good team. They're a 1 seed for a reason."

Even though the Demons had taken the lead, they still had to preserve the win.

"It was like 2 or 3 minutes to go," Anica-Hernandez said. "So I was like, 'We got this.' We've got to defend more, take the ball to the corners to waste time."

Reynolds took a 1-0 lead on an own goal 18:14 and the Demons took the one-goal lead until early in the second half. The Panthers were awarded a penalty kick after the Demons had a foul in the box. Joe Dalrymple took the shot for the Panthers and nailed it to tie the game at 46:39.

Reynolds outshot Providence 14-6.

"The penalty kick took a little bit of air out of the game, unfortunately," Sabio said. "And it gave them some belief, and I don't think they had as much belief before that. So we ended up giving them belief, and it can be dangerous when you give a good team belief."

South Mecklenburg is a team Reynolds is very familiar with. The Sabres defeated the Demons 3-1 in the third round last year.

"I know that we're ready to beat them because they beat us last year and put us out of the playoffs," Sabio said. "So we're ready to beat them."

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