Easton 3 — Col. Richardson 1
EASTON — His team clinging to a one-goal lead in the closing minutes Monday night, Easton High boys’ head soccer coach Matt Blue yelled for defense.
Blue’s voice evidently didn’t carry far enough across the field.
Trent Weems gathered Gardner Edgell’s through ball deep down right wing and drove a sharp angled shot past the outstretched hands of Colonel Richardson’s lunging keeper Brennen Wright with less than 2 minutes remaining for a goal that completed Weems’ first varsity hat trick and the Warriors’ 3-1 victory.
“No, I didn’t,” a smiling Weems said when asked if he heard his coach’s defensive plea. “I was just focused on putting another goal in the back of the net for my team and helping us get the win. Gardner played a great ball to me through and I saw one-on-one with the goalie and I played it through. Saw the goalie dive, goalie didn’t have it and it was in.”
Easton’s second consecutive win improved its overall mark to 5-2 — matching last year’s victory total — and raised its North Bayside record to 3-2.
“This is probably one of the better games that we’ve played,” Blue said. “We’ve been working on a lot of different things in practice, and it actually seemed to show up and translate into the game. We’ve been talking and just working. If we can just get better a little bit at something every practice, every game, I think we’ll be tougher to beat come the end of the season. Happy with today’s win.”
But it was closer than it looked.
Colonel Richardson (4-3, 3-2) cut a 2-0 deficit in half with 13:57 remaining when Jackson Miller scored off a corner kick.
The Colonels continued pressuring Warrior keeper Alek Riedel (nine saves). With 10:13 remaining, Riedel made a stop at the right post with a Colonel attacker bearing down on him. Less than 30 seconds later, Colonel’s Harley Maldonado struck a header that went over the goal.
“Just a tribute to their character,” Colonel Richardson head coach Ryan Blanchfield said of his team, which outshot Easton, 10-7. “They did not give up. Could have easily folded when we were down 2-0.
“I thought we outplayed them the second half,” Blanchfield continued. “Not taking anything away from them. We pushed up there late in the game, and they poked one in. But the score’s not going to reflect the effort. We were pushing them trying to tie it up.”
Weems began working on his hat trick in the seventh minute, when he got a loose ball and tatooed a left-foot drive from 20 yards out past Wright (three saves).
Colonel recovered quickly and forced Riedel to make two quick saves in less than a minute to preserve a one-goal lead.
Then with under 18 minutes remaining in the first half, a Colonel defender slowly went to play a ball back to Wright, not knowing the speedy Weems was racing up from behind.
“I don’t think we communicated well on that,” Blanchfield said. “It seemed like we tried to drop it back and had a flub. That happens.”
Weems pounced, gained possession and just as quickly got rid of the ball, ripping it into the goal for a 2-0 lead with 17:26 left before the break.
“I got lucky to hustle to the ball and put it in the back of the net,” Weems said.
“He played a great game,” Blue said of Weems. “The goals were obviously great. But some of the patience that he showed that allowed our team to move forward, playing with his back to the goal, checking in areas, and just making the right decision is probably where he showed his most improvement. He can always run fast and chase the ball down and put it in the back of the net. But all the other things that he’s getting better at is something that is allowing our entire team to benefit from. It gets more players involved. We don’t become completely stretched as a team.”
Blue also wanted more from his defense, wanting inside backs Jaden Cassell and Kyle Proa, along with outside backs Blake Walton, Chris Kaminskas and Rudy Garniga, to push up more.
“That’s actually something we talked about right before the game,” Blue said. “We went over some film and I was showing the lack of support in our previous game from the outside backs, especially when the ball’s being played to the middle, having them come up and be a part of the offense. And then also being able to make overlapping runs and get forward. I guess when you actually show them on video they understand it better than just hearing it.”
Kent Island 7, St. Michaels 1
STEVENSVILLE — Alex Weese had two goals and an assist, and Carlos Chevez scored twice as the Buccaneers improved to 5-1, 3-0.
Maddox Tinjum had a goal and two assists for Kent Island, McLain Mogle added a goal and an assist, and Bryam Quizhpe scored a goal.
Easton 5, N. Caroline 0
RIDGELY — Anna Roser scored two goals as the Warriors won their second straight.
Annie Wheatley had a goal and one assist for Easton, and Natalie Snyder and Olivia Brown scored once. Kathleen Crouch and Katherine Knox added an assist apiece.
Queen Anne’s 2, Kent County 1
WORTON — Sarah Bowyer and Kamryn Brandt netted a goal each to lead the Lions.
Faith Corder set up both goals for Queen Anne’s County.