Golden Tide fall to Elk County Catholic|
Friday, September 28, 2012
By Rich Murawski Assistant Sports Editor
CURWENSVILLE - The Curwensville boys soccer team dropped a tough, 3-2, decision to visiting Elk County Catholic Thursday afternoon in a game that featured a playoff atmosphere between a pair of teams that haven't been in the win column for a while.
"Both teams were coming off losing streaks," Curwensville head coach Bob Shearer said. "Both teams wanted it real bad. I'm just proud of my guys because they were able to put two good halves together.
"I consider today a real positive for us because we have had a real problem doing that. I didn't see a letdown."
Curwensville's Jason Thorp got the Golden Tide on the board first, tucking a direct kick in between the ECC keeper and the near post at the 14:25 mark.s
The shot was the first in the game for Curwensville, which only registered a total of four.
"He's got the touch," Shearer said. "He has the feel. Jason Thorp is the kind of kid that can play anywhere on the field.
"He is very vital to us in holding down the center of the defense. But he has leeway to move around. He goes and takes all the corner kicks and direct kicks. He's just a good all-around athlete."
Unfortunately for the Tide, the lead was short-lived.
Just 33 seconds later, Crusader Sebastian Dilly fired a shot from the left wing past Tide keeper Josh McGarry to knot the score at 1-1. McGarry made eight saves for the Tide.
"That was a little bit of a downer," Shearer said of ECC's quick answer.
The teams battled through a very physical next 18 minutes of play that saw several players from both sides hit the ground, partly due to the slick field from rain falling and partly due to spirited play.
The Crusaders made several runs at the Tide net during that span, but were not able to get many shots off due to Curwensville's sneaky offside trap.
"Our bread and butter has always been the offside trap," Shearer said. "We probably run the best offside trap in the area. Mahlon (Kester) and Jason are key with that, especially Jason. He is the key back there. He sets the line.
"And Dillion (Davis) should be commended, too, as he has worked himself into a starting position and has been able to adapt to that offside trap and run it effectively.
"You also saw Dillion holding down his side today, jumping higher than kids twice his size and getting the ball downfield. I swear he's getting faster as the season goes on. He's been an asset on the defensive line."
ECC solved the trap and broke the tie at 32:29 when Adam Lovenduski finished a scoring chance off a Ben Cheatle direct kick. All five goals in the game came off set pieces.
Cheatle gave the Crusaders a 3-1 advantage about six minutes later when his direct kick was misplayed by a Tide defender and ended up in the back of the Curwensville net.
But despite the two-goal deficit, the Tide came off the field with their heads held high, ready to tackle the second half.
"The boys came off the field at halftime knowing they played hard and this game could be theirs," Shearer said. "I'm just real proud of them. We could have used some better passing, but overall I'm pleased."
Neither team was able to produce much offense in the second half, combining for just five shots.
But the Golden Tide were able to convert one of theirs at 69:05 as Roger McKenzie headed the ball past the ECC keeper off a Thorp corner kick to get Curwensville to within a goal, 3-2.
"This is Roger's first year with us," Shearer said. "He's a new guy and he was filling in center-mid today because (Brett Gardner) was playing golf. And he did a heck of a job holding down that position ... and he hit the header."
Unfortunately for Curwensville, it was unable to register another shot and ECC held on for the win.
"The good thing for us today is we put two halves together, for a change," Shearer said. "That's been our biggest drawback the last couple weeks.
"I asked my guys to give 100 percent and I asked them to be able to come off the field knowing that everybody did their job for 80 minutes today. And I think they did that."
The Golden Tide dipped to 1-8 with the loss.
Curwensville is back in action Saturday at 1 p.m. at Brockway.
Elk County Catholic 3, Curwensville 2
1. Jason Thorp, CU, (direct kick), 14:25.
2. Sebastian Dilly, ECC, (Ian Herzing), 14:58.
3. Adam Lovenduski, ECC, (Ben Cheatle), 32:29.
4. Cheatle, ECC, (unassisted), 38:40.
5. Roger McKenzie, CU, (Thorp), 69:05.
Shots: Elk County Catholic 13, Curwensville 4.
Saves: Elk County Catholic (Andrew Gerber) 2, Curwensville (Josh McGarry) 8.
Corner kicks: Elk County Catholic 1, Curwensville 3.