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BOYS SOCCER: Cleveland defeats Wilson 1-0 (10/15/203)
October 17, 2013By Steve McCrea of Cleveland High School
The Cleveland Warriors took the game to the Wilson Trojans at Wilson High on Tuesday night. While the final score was only 1-0, the Warriors controlled play for most of the game and had a myriad of great opportunities, particularly in the second half.
While Cleveland had control of the ball most of the first half, Wilson had a couple of shots in first 15 minutes, as Cleveland got used to the thick grass field. Junior Cole Conklin got off a shot off a breakaway in the 14th minute, forcing a tough save by senior keeper Hubie Charman. A minute later, Wilson got a free kick from 25 yards away after another Conklin breakaway attempt led to a Warriors foul, but Charman easily gathered in the straight shot.
At this point, Cleveland's offense began to heat up, leading to a good look in the 16th minute by sophomore Jorge Flores from 20+ yards out that missed the right post. A minute later, senior Daniel Merchant got a ball into senior Mo Abdikadir for a close shot, and Flores got a shot off the rebound, but Wilson's junior keeper Tyler Woodland smothered the attempt. In the 18th minute, senior Kevin Elliott McCrea had a good look just outside the box that he hit to the right and high. And senior Adrien Baures had two good shots, in the 20th and 29th minutes, but Woodland turned away the first, and the second sailed just over the bar. The teams went into the half tied 0-0.
The first 8 minutes of the second half were played mostly at midfield, with Cleveland again controlling the ball but having a hard time getting a good shot off. Conklin, who provided almost all of Wilson's offense on the long ball, again got free on a break in the 48th minute, forcing Charman to come out of the box and make a goal-saving tackle 25 yards out, allowing senior defender Charlie Clark to clear the dangerous ball away.
The momentum shifted strongly in Cleveland's direction as the half progressed, and they had a number of good scoring opportunities that just didn't seem to want to fall. These included a header just wide by Mo (51:00), a Merchant shot over the bar (53:00), two more shots by Baures (55:00 and 60:00), and a header just wide right in the 61st minute by Elliott McCrea off a perfectly-placed throw in from the right side by senior Max Warmington.
Next, it was senior Mudy Abdikadir with a header on goal (63:00), followed by a close-in look by Flores (64:00), and another Elliott McCrea header just wide in the 67th. With 12 minutes left, another Warmington throw into the 6-yard box was headed just over the bar by Elliott McCrea. And a corner at 73:00 led to to a scramble and a close-in header shot by Flores that Woodland was just able to cover.
Finally, with 6 minutes on the clock, the Warriors got on the board when Warmington sent a ball into the box. Neither Wilson nor Cleveland touched the ball, but it took a high hop, slid off the hands of keeper Woodland and dropped into the net for the game's only goal.
Elliott McCrea almost made it 2-0 in the last 2:00 with a shot off a cross from Mo Abdikadir. The shot bounced off a defender back to Kevin, who hit another quick header shot from inside the 6-yard box, but Woodland was able to make the stop.
While the score did not reflect it, Cleveland's offensive dominance in the last 30 minutes against a strong Wilson defense was quite impressive and bodes well as the season moves toward the playoffs in just a couple of weeks. Cleveland moves to 7-1-3 and 3-0 in the PIL, and is now ranked #1 in the 5A state rankings, ahead of Woodburn and Wilsonville. Their next opponent is Roosevelt at Cleveland Stadium on Thursday at 7 PM.