Saturday, October 27, 2012

Rustin suffers first loss of season, falls in district quarterfinals to C.B. East


WESTTOWN - It’s been a nightmare for the top seeds in the District 1 Class AAA boys soccer tournament. One by one, they’ve all fallen by the wayside.
Out of the top seven seeds, just No. 1 ranked West Chester Rustin remained alive on Saturday night in the hunt to capture the district championship.
Not anymore, thanks to a battle-tested Central Bucks East squad who has crashed more than its share of parties in the post-season over the years.
The No. 8 seeded Patriots were the latest to slay one of the giants on Saturday night, as they stunned previously undefeated Rustin by a score of 2-0 in their quarterfinal round District 1 Class AAA match.
Senior forward Ben Marks scored both goals, each coming on set pieces in the second half to send C.B. East (15-3-2 overall) into the district semifinals for the sixth straight year. By making the final four of the tournament, the Patriots also earned a PIAA playoff berth for a remarkable sixth year in a row.
C.B. East is the highest remaining team alive in the district title chase, and they’ll face No. 13 Souderton in the semifinals on Wednesday night at a neutral site and time to be announced. The other semifinal game will pit No. 15 Pennsbury against No. 19 Abington.
“We knew coming in that Rustin was a great team,” said Marks, “but once the game starts seeds don’t mean anything at all.”
West Chester Rustin (17-1-1), the Ches-Mont League champions, is still alive in the post-season as the Golden Knights now fall into the consolation round. They are one of four teams who are vying for the fifth and final PIAA berth. They’ll host No. 7 North Penn on Tuesday.
The Golden Knights never really seemed themselves right from the start. Eventually, it caught up with them.
After a scoreless opening half in which neither team was able to really muster any serious scoring threats, Marks scored on a direct kick from just outside the top of the box with 35:28 remaining to give the Patriots a 1-0 advantage. He struck a terrific shot on the play, burying the ball into the top right corner.
If that goal was a momentum shifter, not long after Marks delivered the back-breaker. With 20:41 left he again scored off a direct kick, this time from the right corner near the end line, as the ball magnificently found the top left corner to give his team a commanding 2-0 lead.
“On the first one I looked to one corner of the net, and then I looked to the other,” said Marks. “Their goalie was kind of stationary, and then he leaned to the inside post, so I hit it to the outside post. It was a great feeling seeing it go in because we knew how important it was going to be to get that first goal.”
It was a disappointing loss for the Golden Knights, whose usually high-powered offense was frustrated all night long.
“We were just totally out of character from a tactical standpoint,” said Rustin coach Dave Tordone. “We played the way they wanted us to play -- continually knocking the ball long.
“I told our kids if we give them restarts they are going to nick us, and that’s exactly what they did. To their credit Marks hit two great balls.”
Central Bucks East coach Mike Gorni said his squad’s game plan coming in was to try and disrupt Rustin’s first touches.
“They are a really good technical passing team,” said Gorni. “We played with great team shape on defense, and we tried to play outward throughout.
“[Rustin] is a great team, and this was an unexpected win for us. This is a very big night for our program, making the state tournament for the sixth year in a row is quite an accomplishment.”

Central Bucks East 2, W.C. Rustin 0
C.B. East     0 2 -- 2
W.C. Rustin     0 0 -- 0
C.B. East goals: Marks 2.
Goalie saves: Nesteruk (CBE) 8; Lockfeld (WCR) 6.

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