WORTON — It’s impossible to know how this soccer season would have played out for Kent County had it not been for the pandemic-driven North Bayside Conference-only schedule that disregarded school size.
What we do know is that Class 1A Kent finished 4-2-1 in 1A matches, outscoring its collective small school opponents, 17-10.
Just as significant, said longtime head coach Patrick Jones, is that the traditional fall sports teams had a chance to play in what he labeled a “condensed spring season.”
Colonel Richardson defeated host Kent, 4-1, in the finale for both schools April 13.
The Colonels avenged a 1-0 double-overtime loss at home exactly one month earlier.
In the rematch, Kent County freshman Martin Parrish’s team-leading seventh goal leveled the score at 1-1 early in the first half, but Colonel Richardson regained the lead for good by intermission, 3-1.
Colonel Richardson (5-5) struck first when Kent keeper Ronald Parker was beaten one-on-one after a defender was beaten on an outside ball.
Parrish tied it soon after on a penalty kick that was awarded for a foul in the box.
The Colonels’ go-ahead goal, which turned out to be the winning goal, was the result of a miscommunication between Parker (two saves) and a defender on a loose ball in front of the cage after a blocked shot. Their striker swept in and tapped the ball into the net.
The next goal was a long lofted shot that should have been punched over the crossbar but instead went just under the bar and through Parker’s hands.
Colonel Richardson scored its last goal late in the match on a long cross that the wind pushed high and deep, over Parker’s head and just inside the far post.
Most of the play was in the middle of the field where Kent had the possession advantage but had trouble generating many scoring opportunities.
“It was a physical match that was not very well controlled and pulled us out of our game,” Jones said.
Each side had nine shots — five on goal for Kent and six on goal for Colonel Richardson.
Kent’s six seniors were recognized in a pre-game ceremony. They are, listed alphabetically, Robert Bourne, Noah Gilbert, Dimas Ramirez, Ian Walters, Bobby Willis and Aiden Zottarelli.
Overall, Kent finished 5-5-1, sweeping North Dorchester, splitting with Colonel Richardson, defeating St. Michaels and shutting out Class 2A Easton in the next-to-last match.
“The team played good soccer over the course of the season, moving the ball well and really improved on working out of the back. We were a little inconsistent on our buildup offensively, but at times worked well together to finish,” Jones said.
“Overall, the team had a good chemistry and really enjoyed the opportunity to play together again,” Jones wrote in an email to the Kent County News.
He added, “We will miss our seniors next season — they did a great job leading the team — and look forward to playing a full season in the fall.”