WORTON — Two early goals in the span of 53 seconds carried Kent County’s boys to a first-round victory in the 1A East Region I soccer tournament Oct. 24.
Tad Jacob’s strike with 21 minutes, 58 seconds remaining in the first half held up as the game-winner in a 2-0 triumph over Colonel Richardson.
Robert Bourne netted the insurance goal.
This was the second win in as many tries for the Trojans, who defeated the Colonels at home, 2-0, in the regular-season finale Oct. 15.
“This was one of our better all-around games,” Kent coach Patrick Jones said of the rematch.
He added: “Well balanced, with good transition to create several scoring opportunities. We possessed the ball well and our goals were good quality goals.”
In the 19th minute, Jacob gathered in a through ball from Kenny Fowler just outside the box and remained sure-footed despite heavy pressure from goalie Crystian Brewer and two defenders. Forward momentum carried Brewer and another Colonel Richardson player into Jacob as he was kicking the ball.
Mayowa Taiwo had the assist on Bourne’s goal, which was scored from an almost impossible angle near the end line on the far right side.
The Trojans nearly tripled their lead in the 21st minute on Fowler’s well-struck direct kick. In the 25th minute, Brewer made a save on Brendan McColigan’s header to keep it 2-0.
Kent County had a handful of excellent scoring chances after intermission, with McColigan, Bourne, Ian Walters, Nickolas Jones and Bobby Willis using short, crisp passes to build the attack.
The most impressive individual effort of the match came in the 58th minute when Fowler, at full steam, launched a booming shot from midfield that would have found the upper left corner had it not been for a well-timed leap by the Colonel Richardson goalie.
Bourne had a shot in the 65th minute that was just wide left and he was denied by Brewer at close range in the 73rd minute.
The Trojans had little time to celebrate their win.
The following afternoon they were sent to top-seeded Bohemia Manor, where they were defeated, 7-0.
“Disappointing” is how coach Jones described the outcome.
“We set them up for an early goal followed shortly after with an offside play that was not called and resulted in their second goal from which we couldn’t recover,” Jones wrote in a text message. “For the rest of the game we had trouble getting anything going offensively. We forced our plays, which just ended in a loss of possession, giving them easy goal scoring opportunities.”
The Trojans finish 4-9-1, after being winless through their first six matches.
“We played well at times throughout the season, but didn’t start giving ourselves good scoring chances until the end of the season, with the exception of Bo Manor,” Jones wrote in the text message.
In the two wins against Colonel Richardson, Kent played with more confidence and moved the ball well all over the field, he said.
St. Michaels (6-7-1) defeated Bo Manor (9-2-2), 1-0, on Oct. 29 for the Region I championship.
Mountain Ridge (13-4) eliminated St. Michaels, 2-1, in the state quarterfinals Nov. 1 and now faces Crisfield in the 1A Final Four. Crisfield advanced with a 5-0 victory over McDonough.