Cavs fall on late rally

Published | Oct 26, 2023

By Jacob Zimmerman

Icard- The East Burke boys soccer team gave up a few goals early in Wednesday evening’s contest with West Caldwell, and ultimately fell short of a comeback.

The 2-1 loss completes the Cavaliers’ 2023 Fall season with a 2-17-1 overall record, 2-12 in the Catawba Valley Athletic Conference.

“The kids picked up their intensity. We had a better idea of how to play them, so we played
them the right way,” said East Burke head coach Samuel Wall.

“It was the last game so the boys were giving it everything they [had]…we wanted to finish really strong and they did. They did really well.”

East Burke came out physical and aggressive, aiming to right the wrong from their 5-1
midseason loss to the same squad three weeks ago.

The first major attack from either side came at the two-minute mark, where Cavs senior midfielder Bryant Lao set up junior striker Anthony Romero with a pass into the box. A potential shot was interrupted by West Caldwell’s goalie, and the Warriors gained possession for the foreseeable future.

The Cavaliers saw a series of throw-ins from the corner travel into their box, creating early
pressure on East Burke’s defenders.
Junior goalkeeper Jaydon Fair was introduced to the action by intercepting a crossing pass near the goal line in the fifth minute.

Shortly after, East Burke would get their first true scare of the night as West Caldwell’s forward avoided an offsides call and set up two shots for the Warriors.
The first ricocheted off the top crossbar from a header attempt and moments after the
second attempt via rebound collided with the left post.

At the 10-minute mark, East Burke regained possession and led a push into Warrior territory.
Junior midfielder Sylas Coleman was on his way to an open duel with West Caldwell’s goalie. Yet, the whistle from the referee signaled a tripping call against Coleman, as he got tangled up
with an opposing defender when dribbling upfield.

In response, West Caldwell got a common foul to go their own way and set up a free kick from
25 yards out of East Burke’s net. The boot would be corralled at the line by Fair for a stop in the
17th minute, but the continued offensive pressure from the Warriors kept the Cavaliers defense
on their toes for the majority of the first half.

When East Burke found control and crossed midfield, they looked to capitalize by any means.
Another one of these flashes occurred 25 minutes in, as Romero got upfield in a dash.

The striker battled a double team when making his way into the box, and a heads-up play from the goalie forced a contested shot that missed wide right.

The Cavalier defense could only bend for so long before West Caldwell broke one through.

On a corner kick chance for the Warriors, a whistle blew during the crossing kick that resulted from East Burke grabbing hold of an opposing forward going up for a header. Right from the penalty spot, Jayco Castro removed the goose egg from the scoreboard by finding the bottom right corner of the net to go up 1-0 with 14 minutes remaining in the half, as Fair dove left with the wrong guess.

Romero ushered a solo attack once again before the break, looking to take advantage of a
monster kick across midfield, but he met the same hounding defender difficulties when trying to
get a shot off in a 1v2 scenario.

The Cavaliers closed out the half committing numerous ticky-tack fouls. Despite the free kicks
and corner kicks, Fair held strong at goalkeeper for East Burke, racking up two additional saves
going into the midpoint.

With sides changing and a new goalie in for West Caldwell, the Cavaliers did not start off the
second half on the right foot.

Just four minutes into half two, a Warrior attack set up position for another quality strike. West Caldwell forward Jair Mendes received a pass in the crowded penalty area from the left side of the field and managed to contact the ball with the side of the foot, creating the perfect bounce into the top right corner of the net for a 2-0 lead.

Over the next 20 minutes of play, traits of a defensive slugfest became apparent, with
neither side gaining much traction. In the stretch, East Burke finally got a free kick in opposing
territory, but the noggin of a Warrior defender cleared the shot.

A rare shot on goal would also occur for East Burke. Romero had some offensive support around him on this attack, yet wound up taking a 90* degree turning shot running left to right from around 10 yards out that met the arms of the replacement Warrior goalie.

With 11 minutes left in a two-score game, East Burke’s first triumph came when they needed it
most. The Cavaliers conducted their best attack of the night, running a four-on-two fastbreak
deep into the enemy field.

A foul occurred inside the box amongst the clutter, setting up a penalty kick for senior defender/midfielder Chris Lor. Lor left the goalie frozen in their tracks, going bottom-left pocket for the score.

“Chris [had] never scored a goal, and [my players] decided that if we got a PK this game they
were gonna let him take it. They tried to get him to take one when we played West Lincoln but
he was a little tentative, but they talked him into it. He walked up there and he just put it away. I
was happy for him.”

Trailing 2-1 with time running down on the game and season for East Burke, the fight for
possession at midfield would prevail for West Caldwell up until the final buzzer. Despite
desperate attempts to steal the ball back, penalties became a dime a dozen on the pitch, and
the Cavaliers fell just short of a late-game comeback.

Fair finished with seven saves to end his junior season with 137 total.

“It’s going to be a lot of rebuilding, [we] lost nine seniors last year, seven seniors this year. So we
got a lot of work to do.“

The JV Cavaliers also ended their season at 1-9-2 overall, 1-5-2 in the Catawba Valley Athletic Conference after a 7-0 loss to West Caldwell.

Starting goalkeeper Slate Walsh finished with four saves.

Related Posts

No Results Found

The page you requested could not be found. Try refining your search, or use the navigation above to locate the post.

Leave a comment.


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *