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BOYS SOCCER: Cleveland 1, Franklin 0 (10/30/12)
November 4, 2012By Steve McCrea of Cleveland High School
Cleveland 1, Franklin 0
On a very muddy Tuesday evening, the Cleveland Warriors won their last regular season game, out-slogging the Franklin Quakers 1-0.
The Warriors, used to playing on smooth Astroturf, appeared to have a difficult time adjusting to the wet and muddy field conditions in the first half. Franklin got the first serious scoring chance in the 13th minute, when junior keeper Hubie Charman made a charging save on a through ball to Franklin junior Samson Brody about 8 yards out. Franklin threatened again in the 31st minute when sophomore Eamonn Hartmann ran down a ball in the right corner and crossed it right to a breaking Franklin midfielder, forcing Charman to come up with another excellent save. Franklin also got a good, low shot from a free kick with a minute or so remaining in the half, but Charman was again up to the task.
Cleveland's best scoring chance in the first half came with about 6 minutes remaining, when a long run and some hard work in the corner by junior Connor Rodriguez Scott earned the Warriors a corner kick. Junior Mudy Abdikadir put the ball right in the middle, and it was headed in the air by junior Francesco Verna-Ketel. A wild scramble ensued, where the Franklin keeper Quinn Nottage leaped over some players to punch the ball out and was temporarily on the ground. The Warriors worked hard to get a shot off but could not get the ball through the Quaker defense before Nottage was able to get back into position.
Cleveland's offense picked up in the second half, as they adapted to the sloppy field conditions. Junior Daniel Merchant sent a long free kick right into the box in the 42nd minute and nearly connected with junior Kevin Elliott McCrea a few yards in front of the keeper. Franklin junior Joseph Hines got a short breakaway in the 49th minute and put the ball to the left of the goal, but Charman appeared to be in position to handle the shot.
Merchant worked a set play off a free kick in the 54th minute that sent senior Nick Van Marter down the left sideline for a point blank shot, but Nottage was able to make the stop. In the 65th minute, Van Marter hit a 35-yard blast off a long rebound from Nottage. The keeper made the stop, but the ball rolled free to Elliott McCrea, who turned and fired from 5 yards out. Somehow, Nottage was able to get his left foot out and deflect what looked like a sure goal for the Warriors.
One minute later, Elliott McCrea headed a long throw-in from Junior Max Warmington from the right side of the goal back to the top of the box. Two Quaker defenders contended with Merchant for the ball, and it deflected off one of them to Nick Van Marter on the left side of the goal. Nottage got a piece of Van Marter's hard left-footed shot, but the ball beat him to the short side and the Warriors took a 1-0 lead.
With about 6 minutes left in the game, Elliott McCrea fought for a ball at the top of the box and sent Van Marter in on the right on a short breakaway, but his shot hit the outside of the right post. There were no more serious scoring chances, and the Warriors ended up on the right side of a 1-0 final score.
The Warriors wind up the regular season with a record of 5-4-5, ranked #10 in the state, despite a challenging schedule and a couple of tough ties against Sherwood and Wilsonville that could easily have been wins. They begin the playoffs Thursday night at Cleveland Staduim against #22 Milwaukie (5-6-2), start time 7 PM.
Video highlights available at: http://highschoolsports.oregonlive.com/videoplayer/3654403/highlights-cleveland-vs-franklin-10-30-2012/