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BOYS SOCCER: Cleveland wins opener over Sandy 4-1 (9/5/2013)
September 20, 2013By Steve McCrea of Cleveland High School
The Cleveland Men's Soccer team traveled to Sandy High on Thursday night for their opening game of the season. They had a slow start, but the Warriors began to dominate early on, led by a hat trick by senior Adrien Baures, and two assists by senior Mudy Abdkadir.
The Pioneers got off to a quick start and had several scoring opportunities in the first 5 minutes of play. Sandy scored their first and only goal three minutes in off a corner kick from the right side, and the pressure was on the Warriors to strike back.
But the momentum soon shifted in Cleveland's favor. Their first scoring opportunity came in the 6th minute of play, when Baures banged a hard shot from the left side off the crossbar. Less than a minute later, Baures blasted a rising shot from over 30 yards out that the Sandy keeper tipped over the bar.
Sandy nearly struck back a few minutes later, as a cross got into a crowd inside the 6-yard box and was cleared away at the last second by senior midfielder Kevin Elliott McCrea. But Cleveland quickly regained the initiative, and in the 17th minute, a series of passes led to a slick behind-the-back pass by senior Daniel Merchant to Baures, who tied it up with a left-footed finish from the left side of the goal at about 16 minutes into the game.
In the 23rd minute, Merchant hit a long free kick into the box. It was headed by a Pioneer defender to the right side of the goal, but Mudy Abdikadir headeded right back across the box, past the keeper to the foot of senior defender Charlie Clark, who knocked it home to put the Warriors up 2-1.
Baures struck again in the 30th minute, when he stole a Sandy throw-in and hit a hard, curving shot from 25 yards out that just tucked into the upper left corner of the goal. The Warriors took a 3-1 lead into the locker room at half time.
Cleveland started out the second half with a few shots, but Sandy had an excellent scoring opportunity about 4 minutes in, where a Pioneer forward hit an open shot from the right side of the box just wide of the short side. And senior defender Malcom Jones combined with Clark and senior keeper Hubie Charman to stop a dangerous Sandy breakaway at about the 50 minute mark of the match.
On the very next trip down the field, Elliott-McCrea muscled a ball forward to Mudy Abdikadir near the top of the box. Mudy sent a perfectly-timed pass through the left side of the defense to a breaking Baures, who cemented the win with another strong left-footed finish for his third goal of the match.
With a 4-1 lead, coach Scott Killen began to make wholesale subsititutions in the last 20 minutes, but regardless of the team on the field, the Warriors' 4-5-1 attack continued to wear down the Pioneers, and Cleveland conrolled the pace for most of the remainder of the match, including a shot by Niko Kesckes in the 54th minute that just missed the left post, and a scramble in the 65th minute that led to two good shots by the Warrior reserves.
Coach Killen was reportedly pleased with the Warriors' performance last night, where they showed speed and good passing, and the ability to finish, as well as good depth on the bench. Cleveland's next game is Tuesday night on the road against 5A rival Wilsonville. Hope to see you all there!
Video highlights at http://youtu.be/_6GDJlVYtVk.