Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Kennett tops Cougars, 1-0, for third straight win


UWCHLAN - It’s been a front-loaded schedule for the Kennett High School boys soccer team so far this fall, as most of their early season games have been against not only tough nonleague opponents, but some of the top teams in the Ches-Mont League as well.
The Blue Demons have been able to keep their heads above water during this difficult stretch, and now they’re hoping to make a late run in what they view as a number of winnable games from here on out.
Tuesday afternoon Kennett faced yet another difficult challenge against a Downingtown East squad that sat in a three-way tie for first place in the National Division standings coming in, and they handled it very well by posting a 1-0 road shutout.
The Blue Demons (3-2-1 American, 5-4-1 overall) got the lone score of the match from junior midfielder Louis Carrillo, who netted the game-winning goal early in the second half, with 38:24 remaining, on a long shot from well outside the box.
“We didn’t start off as strong as we wanted this season,” said Carrillo, “but it’s how you finish that is the most important thing.
“On my goal I was open outside the box and I was able to get a good look at the net before taking my shot. I had to take it with my left foot but I struck it well, and it was a great feeling seeing it go in.”
For Downingtown East (3-3 National), it was a tough loss as the Cougars had plenty of quality scoring chances throughout but were unable to get one past Kennett goalie Alex Giarrocco (nine saves), as he earned his fifth shutout of the season.
With the game scoreless late in the opening half, Downingtown East had a pair of great opportunities to take the lead in the final two minutes, but was unable to convert on either.
Moments after falling behind 1-0, Austin Warren of the Cougars rumbled into the box from the left side with a great chance but was robbed of a goal by Giarrocco. East also had two more solid chances with a little more than 13 minutes to go when they got a direct kick from just outside the box, and then a corner kick a minute later.
“We know we are going to be involved in a lot of low-scoring games, and our defense is going to have to be strong for us,” said Kennett coach Dean Temple, whose Blue Demons haven’t allowed a goal in their current three-game winning streak. “This was a great win for us to come out and get today.”
Kennett received some terrific play from senior midfielder Connor Dalphon, who was all over the field throughout.
Kennett has already faced fellow American Division unbeatens West Chester Rustin and Great Valley, who are tied atop the division standings. With Tuesday’s win, the Blue Demons moved into a tie for third place with Oxford.
With a lot of season left to go, Kennett is expecting to make a serious push down the stretch.
“We gotta make a run here,” said Temple. “We had a tough, tough schedule early on. Our first eight games were all very difficult and we came out of them at five hundred, which wasn’t bad. Now we are hoping to get on a big roll from here on out.”

Kennett 1, Downingtown East 0
Kennett     0 1 -- 1
Downingtown East     0 0 -- 0
Kennett goal: Carrillo.
Goalie saves: Giarrocco (K) 9; Maino (DE) 7.

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