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BOYS SOCCER: Cleveland closes season with 7-0 win over Benson (10/29/2013)
October 31, 2013By Steve McCrea of Cleveland High School
Cleveland 7, Benson 0
The Cleveland Warriors finished the regular season on senior night in fine form, as they overpowered the Benson Techmen, 7-0, with goals scored by 7 different players.
Cleveland controlled the ball early, with a header shot on goal by senior Adrien Baures in the second minute, and a long header pass from senior Kevin Elliott McCrea, which led to a 8th minute shot to the right post by senior Mo Abdikadir, forcing a diving save by Benson's keeper. Mo missed left in the 18th, but a minute later, he put a high cross from the right side straigh to the foot of Baures, who made a graceful leaping finish for the first goal of the game.
Senior Connor Rodriguez-Scott hit a shot just wide of the right post in the 23rd, and senior Andrew Cheney hit a hard outside shot over the bar in the 24th. Cleveland went up 2-0 a minute later on a 30-yard blast from the left side by senior Daniel Merchant.
Elliott McCrea had a good outside shot over the bar with 9 minutes left in the half. A minute later, he headed home a perfect cross from Baures to make it 3-0.
In the 35th minute, Elliott-McCrea slipped a pass behind the defense to senior Francesco Verna-Ketel, who was fouled in the box, and then converted the ensuing PK for a 4-0 lead. And Connor Rodriguez-Scott wowed the fans in the 36th as he was facing away from the goal at the top of the box, and faked a drop pass, then back-heeled the ball past the surprised Benson keeper into the net.
The Warriors didn't slack off after halftime, almost scoring in the 41st minute on a give-and-go combo between Rodriguez-Scott and Baures. in the 45th, Rodriguez-Scott took a shot from outside the box that was deflected by a defender over the goaltender and off the crossbar. In the 48th, it was Elliott-McCrea pouding a 30-yard shot that also hit the bar. A minute later, he headed a Merchant corner off the turf and past the keeper, but it bounced just over the crossbar.
Merchant fed Baures for a good shot that sailed wide right in the 53rd minute. A minute later, a Merchant corner found sophomore Stellan Roberts deep in the box, who headed it home for his first varisty goal.
The final goal came with 8 minutes remaining, when junior Gunnar Boag crossed the ball in from the left corner, and junior Milan Mena made a diving header that hit off the left post and into the net.
The Warriors finished the season with 6 consecutive shutouts, outscoring opponents 27-0 during that run. They finish the season having allowed only 7 goals in 14 games, making them the #1 defense in division 5A. With the win tonight, the Warriors with the PIL and will most likely finish 3rd overall in the statewide 5A Power Rankings, behind Woodburn and Summit. They will play a "friendly game" at Hood River Friday afternoon at 4:30, but their first official playoff game will be next Tuesday, November 5, at Cleveland Stadium, opponent to be determined by the play-in round held this weekend around the State.