EASTON — It’s early in the season, and Kent Island High boys’ head soccer coach Lin Outten admits he’s still learning about his team.
Monday night at Warrior Stadium, Outten learned his team can turn it on when it has to, scoring three goals in the final 13 minutes of the first half en route to a 4-1 victory over Easton.
“I’m still trying to learn how we fit together, and what combinations of players are the best combination of players,” Outten said after his team improved to 2-0 overall, 1-0 North Bayside. “I’m encouraged we got four first-half goals. And the bulk of that came late in the half when we brought some fresh players on that were reserves, and they were fantastic. So I’m super excited about the depth of the team. I think it’s generally a strength of ours and I think it is again this year. And I’m super excited that we were able to build such a lead by halftime.
Nolan Burns gave Kent Island a 1-0 lead in the seventh minute when he converted a feed from Jake Bowman.
The Warriors (0-2, 0-1) had a chance to tie when Brayon Rodas Ortega got a clean shot on net that Bucs keeper Steve Sanchez (four saves) fell to the ground to stop 16 minutes in.
Easton had its best opportunity to pull even when Ortega was awarded a penalty kick with 17:21 left in the half. But Ortega’s shot sailed wide of the left post.
Warrior freshman keeper Jake Hershey (eight saves) made a number of nice saves throughout the game, and kept it a one-goal game when he stopped a low shot from Ryan Kegley with 13:30 left in the half.
Just 40 seconds later, Burns dished to Barba for a goal and a 2-0 lead.
Kent Island continued pressing. Burns unloaded a big drive from right wing that Hershey stopped.
The Bucs didn’t let up in the waning moments of the first half. Ryan Modica sent a cross from left wing that an unmarked Raj Turner easily tucked into the back of the net for a 3-0 bulge with 3:12 left.
Then with less than two minutes on the clock, Burns, Kent Island’s co-goal scoring leader during the abbreviated spring season, collected a feed from Barba and parked his second goal of the game into the back of the net.
“I wasn’t pleased with how we played the second half,” Outten said of his team. “But overall it was a very good end of the first half, when we poured three in in about 15 minutes. So I am excited about our depth.”
The game turned chippy and more physical in the second half, and with 11:38 remaining an Easton player collided with Sanchez, who had to leave the game briefly. A little over a minute later, Ortega gained possession of a loose ball in the Bucs end and fired a shot into the upper corner past the leap of Jake Gordinier, drawing the Warriors within 4-1.
But Easton wouldn’t get another score over the remaining 10 minutes after Sanchez was re-inserted in goal.
“We had a difficult and challenging first half,” Easton head coach John Pritchett said. “We played well in moments. But we had an opportunity to really show one of the top competitors that we could really play with them; match their intensity.
“I thought it was a well-played match,” Pritchett continued. “Both teams really wanted to win. The second half was better than the first for us. We keep building. It’s moments like this where can learn that we have to bring a little bit of intensity to each of our games. And we need to start better.”
N. Caroline 2, Kent 1
RIDGELY — Owen Rorabaugh and Anthony Blottenberger each scored for the Bulldogs, who evened their record at 1-1 overall (1-0 North Bayside).
Cambridge-SD 3 St. Michaels 2
CAMBRIDGE — Justin Knox, Jacob Miller and Jharell Hernandez scored one goal apiece to pace the Vikings (2-0, 1-0) past St. Michaels (0-1-1, 0-1).
Q. Anne’s 3, St. Michaels 2
ST. MICHAELS — Faith Novak, Brianna Schindler and Gabrielle Scully each scored a goal as the Lions won their season opener. Schindler added two assists for Queen Anne’s, and Charlotte Dyer had one. Eryn Johnston made four saves.
Kent Island 6, Kent County 0
STEVENSVILLE — Megan Carpenter had four goals and an assist as the Buccaneers improved to 2-0.
Marley Waters and Grace Hines each scored for Kent Island. Jordan Bunce and Allie Cimaglia notched one save apiece.