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BOYS SOCCER: Cleveland advances to Round 1 of playoffs with 1-0 win (11/2/12)
November 5, 2012By Steve McCrea of Cleveland High School
Cleveland 1, The Dalles/Wahtonka 0
The Cleveland Warriors started their playoff season with a play-in match Firday night against The Dalles/Wahtonka Eagle Indians. While the Eagle Indians were the underdogs in tonight's match, they clearly came ready to play and made the Warriors earn the win.
The first half was a fairly even match, with Cleveland getting a couple good scoring chances, but the Eagle Indians showing some excellent passing and good defense. In the 5th minute, junior Daniel Merchant hit a through ball to junior Adrien Baures to the left of the goal, and Baures hit a good left-footed shot that tested junior keeper Brian Sanches for The Dalles. In the 10th minute, Baures made a nice cross to junior Kevin Elliott McCrea, who got his head on for a good redirect that went wide of the left post.
The Eagle Indians got a good look off a corner in the 25th minute, which a midfielder hit hard but missed wide right. A minute later, a throw-in by junior Braxton Griffith lead to another header by Elliott McCrea over the bar. In the next minute, The Dalles threw it in to the top of the box for a header just under the bar that forced an excellent save by junior keeper Hubie Charman. And with 10 minutes remaining in the half, senior Cameron Craig crossed the ball from the left all the way over to junior Connor Rodriguez-Scott, who hit the ball just over the crossbar. The half ended with the score 0-0.
The second half belonged to the Warriors from the first whistle, but they had a tough time getting the ball into the net. Kevin Elliott McCrea dished up two potential scoring shots in the first six minutes of the half, one to Merchant and one to Baures. In the 50th minute, a throw-in from Max Warmington led to a scramble in front, where both senior Nick Van Marter and junior Mo Abdikadir had good shots. Michael Deming had a shot a minute later that just missed, and Mo got a ball to Elliott McCrea for a header in the 53rd minute from close in.
The Dalles had good looks from seniors Salvadore Vasquez (55:00) and Bence Boros (56:00), but did not have any more good chances, as the Warriors begain to out-compete the smaller team for the ball at midfield. Cleveland piled up good scoring chances by Adrien Baures (2), Kevin Elliott McCrea (3), Mudy Abdikadir (2), and Nick Van Marter. Freshman Janek Karoly took a particularly impressive shot from over 30 yards out that whistled right below the bar and forced Sanches to make a very tough stop, tipping it just over the goal.
Cleveland finally got on the board in the 71st minute, as Nick Van Marter got the ball up to Kevin Elliott McCrea just inside the box. Kevin took a quick touch and fired it into the upper right corner for the only score of the game.
Cleveland moves on to the round of 16, and will play Tuesday night on the road against one of the top 8 ranked teams, but won't know their next opponent until the completion of the first round games tomorrow.
(The camera broke down for the second half of the game, so there will likely not be video highlights for this match.)