Kent Island 2 — Easton 1
STEVENSVILLE — With new faces and a new artificial turf playing field, the Buccaneers began their North Bayside title defense in dominating fashion Tuesday evening — except for putting the ball into the goal.
Kent Island High’s boys’ soccer team amassed 42 shots compared to just three by Easton, yet the Warriors were in the game until the final whistle.
James Consoli’s goal with 35 minutes, 27 seconds to play became the game-winner as the Bucs edged Easton, 2-1, in their season-opener.
Easton goalie Ashton Echternach stopped 11 shots in each half, and his defensive teammates helped him by limiting quality opportunities by the Bucs.
The Warriors had opened their season Monday with a 3-2 overtime victory at Wicomico, which was fresh news for Bucs head coach Lynn Outten in a postgame interview.
“Two nights in a row is not great for soccer,” Outten said. “Easton’s excellent. They’re always, in the North Bayside, one of the top teams. We told the guys before the game: ‘It’s Easton. We’re going to have a difficult game.’ We’re also new. What do they have? What do we have? It’s so new.
“It’s a tough one to start with honestly,” Outten added. “I always get nervous playing somebody like Easton in the opener because you’re just trying to form your team and figure out positionally where to put everybody. But we got through it. I wish we could have put a few more away. We had over 30 shots. That’s a lot of shots.”
Kent Island finished with 21 shots in each half and 12 in each half were also on goal. The Bucs generated 11 corner-kick opportunities compared to three for Easton.
But the Warriors showed they’re capable of striking fast when an opportunity unfolds.
Kent Island had taken 14 shots before Easton took its first. Nonetheless, the Warriors’ first one rolled into the net. Benefitting from Tucker Andrews’ midfield work and pass, Osman Garniga collected the ball as he burst past a defender and sent a right-footer into the net for a 1-0 Easton lead with 12:57 remaining in the first half.
A little over a minute later, though, the Bucs tied the score at 1-1. Carlos Chavez blasted a roller from 20 yards out on a direct kick into the right side of the cage for a quick response at 11:46. The score stayed tied at the half.
Consoli provided the margin for victory early in the second half. He took a pass from Nolan Burns and got the ball by Echternach with a shot inside the near post from the right-side of the goal area.
Despite losing the possession battle by a large margin, the Warriors had a couple of opportunities to tie the game. Bucs goalie Kris Krause broke from the crease and made a sliding save on a breakaway shot by James Lewis with about 23 minutes remaining. Gardner Edgell broke free on a rush down left wing with just under eight minutes to play, but Bucs defender Johnny Ritz was able to slide over and kick the ball away.
“I thought they played really hard. As a coach that’s really all you can ask for,” Warriors head coach Matt Blue said. “Kent Island has a great team. They’re coached well. They have a lot of big, strong, fast, skilled, talented players. They exposed us a lot. Our keeper came up big. But we still had opportunities to score. We had a couple opportunities late in the game. It would have been really nice to put one in the back of the net. With their ability to possess the ball, we were kind of forced to play D a lot. They play with very limited touch and play fast.”
Kent Island defenders, including Ritz, Ryan Callaghan, McLain Mogle, and Shane Kirkwood, limited Easton to just one shot on goal in each half. They were largely untested though as Kent Island’s attack and midfielders controlled the game.
“We had it (possession) in huge chunks of the game,” Outten said. “We had a ton of possessions. So much down there like I’m stunned honestly we didn’t score more. But their goalie played very well. Defenders for Easton were real tough. They were solid, never gave up. Their strikers were opportunistic to try to steal one on us. We were down at their end for so long and then counter and get one on us.
“So we need to get that third one and get some breathing room there, and we weren’t able to do it,” Outten added. “But we’ve got a new group here, a lot of changes from last year, and we’re going to find the right combinations of players and get this just right.”
St. Michaels 2, Cambridge-SD 1
ST. MICHAELS — Mike Kemp and Alex Batley each scored goals off corner kicks and goalie Nolan Sawatsky notched 14 saves, as the Saints evened their record at 1-1 (1-0 North Bayside).
Josh Sherwood and Tristan Reeside had one assist apiece for St. Michaels.
North Caroline 4, Kent County 0
WORTON — Eli Canade, Justin Tasker, Lucas Sloan and Avery Keaton had one goal apiece, as the Bulldogs improved to 1-1, 1-0.
Bulldogs keeper Chris Jones made three saves.
Queen Anne’s 7, Colonel 0
AMERICAN CORNER — Bryce Hoon, Matt Walls, Evan Shade, Ryley Wright, Will Covington, Chris Smith and Joe Monaghan had one goal apiece as the Lions rolled.
Queen Anne’s 8, St. Michaels 0
CENTREVILLE — Casey Sweitzer and Sarah Bowyer netted two goals and an assist each to pace the Lions.
Addy Caulk had a goal and one assist for Queen Anne’s, which got also got goals from Breanna McClean, Charlotte Dyer, and Ashley Simonetti. Faith Corder added an assist.
Kent Island 5, Kent County 1
WORTON — Ella Kaufman had a hat trick and Sophia Holtzner and Riley Tengwall added a goal each as the Buccaneers improved to 2-0, 2-0.
Sydney Barlow set up Tengwall’s goal, and goalie Julia Alexander made one save.
Parkside 8, Crisfield 0
SALISBURY — The Rams got a pair of goals from Laci Welch and Miranda Mears en route to blanking the Crabbers.