Wednesday, June 19, 2013 3:18 PM
Photo by Daniel Kucin. Central's Sekou Sackor looks to make a play against Southern Senior High School last Thursday in the Regional playoff game.
Published on: Thursday, November 08, 2012
By Daniel Kucin
On a cold and rainy afternoon last Thursday, the Central Falcons came into their 2A regional playoff match against Southern Senior High School undefeated and looking to make waves in the postseason.
However, Southern had different plans, and they defeated the Falcons 3-0 with sound defense and outstanding goalkeeping.
The field conditions were sloppy and wet, contributing to a slow field, keeping Central’s exceptionally fast midfielders and strikers in check.
Both teams were equally matched and kept the game tight, trading field position until the 13th minute of the first half. Southern’s Yuri Watson knocked one past freshman goalkeeper Rushan Adamson.
Photo by Daniel Kucin. Central's Alton West slips by a Southern player last Thursday.
Adamson had a tough time fending off the Bulldogs’ odd-man rushes and was tested often. Southern tried to exploit Central’s inexperience with 11 shots on goal, and Adamson constantly took risky chances by playing the ball five to 10 yards away from the box in order to shut down their offensive attack.
“We started slow to work the other team.... We knew we had to come out and play defensive minded with this team because they were undefeated, and if we held them out they would become frustrated,” Southern head coach Keith Coleman said. “We were trying some chip shots, but we will take the three goals.”
Southern finished the first half up by one goal, but that point seemed to completely deflate Central and toned down the Falcons’ aggressive offensive nature.
About 20 minutes into the second half, Sourthern struck again when junior striker Keiran Collien successfully converted a free kick attempt.
Central’s Alton West and Sekou Sackor kept Southern goalkeeper Ryan Leech busy late in the half, but they could not manage to squeeze one through. Leech was selected all-county honorable mention for Anne Arundel County, and he kept Southern in this game with 16 saves.
Southern junior striker Noah Blacker sealed the game with another goal to put his team up by three points and out of reach.
Southern has now earned its seventh shutout win of the season and will advance to the next round.
Unfortunately, Central’s young and talented group will have to hone their skills and wait another year to show what they are truly made of.
“They have a tendency to get down on themselves ... you know we had an undefeated season and we haven’t played from behind,” Central head coach Karl Cain said. “It was kind of disappointing ... any loss is disappointing, but we were expecting to do a lot better than we did.”