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BOYS SOCCER: Cleveland blanks Roosevelt 5-0 (10/17/13)
October 21, 2013By Steve McCrea of Cleveland High School
Cleveland 5, Roosevelt 0
The Cleveland's men's soccer team took on the Roosevelt Rough Riders at Cleveland Stadium on Thursday night. The Warriors controlled the game from whistle to whistle and four different players scored goals in an easy victory.
Cleveland controlled the ball from the start of the game and had a wide variety of good chances in the first half. Senior Daniel Merchant had two outside shots in the first 20 minutes, and senior Adrien Baures hit a hard shot wide right in the 9th minute. Senior Mudy Abdikadir hit a hard shot on goal in the 20th minute, and a Merchant corner in the 21st minute was headed just wide of the left post by senior Kevin Elliott McCrea.
Roosevelt had a shot toward the left post in the 27th minute, but Cleveland keeper Hubie Charman was there to make the stop. A minute later, after a period of 18 consecutive completed Cleveland passes, Baures took a ball from Merchant down the left sideline, and crossed it in to a wide open Elliott McCrea, who knocked home the easy finish to give the Warriors a 1-0 lead.
Roosevelt junior Anthony Sylvestre stole an errant pass and put a shot on goal with 2:00 remaining in the half, but Charman was again in good shape to make the save. A minute later, senior Francesco Verna-Ketel ripped a hard shot from near the penalty spot that sophomore keeper Jordan Asher had to make a quick save on to keep the score 1-0 at halftime.
The second half continued to be dominated by the Warriors' strong passing and solid defense, starting with a solid shot by senior Braxton Griffith in the 43rd minute that went wide right. In the 51st minute, a long throw in by Griffith into the box was deflected into the goal by a Rough Rider defender to give Cleveland a 2-0 lead.
Cleveland had a good look by Mudy in the 54th minute, and a shot by sophomore Jorge Flores in the same minute that just missed the right post. But in the 60th minute, Merchant took a 30-yard blast that beat Asher to the right, and the Warriors went up 3-0.
Roosevelt senior Miguel Rebollo got the best scoring chance of the day for the Rough Riders in the 61st minute, a hard shot off a free kick from 25 yards that missed wide right. A minute later, senior Charlie Clark headed a Griffith throw-in over the bar at the other end, and Mudy sent Flores in on goal with a nice pass in the 63rd, but Flores just missed the left post on the close-in shot.
At this point, the reserves took the field wholesale for the Warriors, but Cleveland continued to dominate. Roosevelt got their last good look in the 70th minute on a strong run down the right sideline, with Rebollo hitting a tight-angle shot over the bar. But Cleveland struck back with two goals in the 71st, one from senior Connor Rodriguez-Scott on a nice breakaway pass from junior Milan Mena, and the second on a great outside shot from Mena that beat Asher low to the right side.
The Warriors notched their fourth consecutive shutout, and their fifth in their last 6 outings. They have scored 17 second-half goals, and have outscored their opponents 24-7 in 12 games this season, for a GAA of .58 goals per game.
Cleveland faces Jefferson at Delta Park next Thursday, and finish off the against Benson on Senior night on Tuesday 10/29 at Cleveland Stadium. They are almost certain to get a bye in the first round of the playoffs, which begin the weekend of 11/1.