Kettle Run ends Sherando boys’ season

NOKESVILLE – Sherando High School’s boys’ soccer team ran into the same offensive stumbling blocks as it had in recent games on Monday and lost to homestanding Kettle Run 3-1 in the quarterfinal round of Region 4A West quarterfinals.

However, the Warriors (14-3-1) played excellent defense while missing an all-conference performer.

“At this level, you really get into some tough competition and those guys were tough. They have two Division I players out there and it showed today,” said Sherando head coach Pat Anderson.

Warrior Seth Wade said, “This was by far the toughest team we have faced this year. They were bigger and maybe a little quicker.”

Sherando goalkeeper Scott Spencer, a sophomore who stopped 11 shots on goal made by the Cougars, added he thought the other team “may have had more speed and maybe ability, but we had more heart. We beat them to a lot of balls.”

Sherando was averaging more than four goals per game through most of the regular season, but tied Handley 0-0 on May 11 and then lost to the Judges 3-1 on May 19.

The one goal made by the visitors represented only one of two scores Sherando has commanded in the last three games.

Kettle Run head coach Philip Roper said they were able to substitute in a lot of games. “Probably anywhere between 16-17 played, but truthfully, I didn’t think I subbed enough in the second half.”

There was a great deal of talent on the Kettle Run pitch.

Nine Warriors earned first- or second-team All-Conference 21 West honors while 12 Cougars made one of the two all-star squads. That meant that Roper was subbing in an all-Conference 22 participant off the bench.

Both teams scored early and then slugged it out until late in the game.

All-conference first-team member Reece Cook (seven shots on goal, one score) beat a Sherando defender and then planted a shot to the right of Sherando ‘keeper Spencer in the fourth minute.

The 1-0 Cougar lead was short-lived. The Warriors relied on Seth Wade to tie the match at 1 in the fifth minute. The scorer dropped it in from a short distance in front of Kettle Run keeper Michael Otoori.

In the first half, Kettle Run took 12 shots on goal compared to two for Sherando.

“That was all Bhale Kearns doing,” said Roper. “He’s big and he’s fast, and, it’s like he took the whole team on his back out there. He played great defense.”

Sherando had its chances about the 72-minute mark of the 80-minute game. It took three straight shots – two at dead-aim-but came away with nothing.

The Cougars sensed it was time to pounce.

Within 47 seconds of each other, Jakob Wine kicked the ball through a Sherando marker for the goal and 2-1 lead in the 78th minute.

Seconds later Nick Seyler knocked in an insurance goal off a corner kick.

Sherando’s defense was salty.

All-conference defender Jacob Crowley suffered a leg injury and was in street clothes with his leg tightly bound.

Even so, spearheaded by Spencer, who ended his first starting year, defenders like Victor Pinto, Luke White and Jacob Sites did all they could until Kettle Run broke out of its slump late in the game.

“This was a great group,” said Sherando’s Anderson. “Never had a problem with them. They played hard all season.”

Conference 21 West Player of the Year Sean Buono took two shots on goal, but Sherando was only able to get off five such efforts for the entire game.

Meanwhile, Kettle Run’s Cook connected on one of seven shots. Justin Magill had three shots on goal and Kearns added two.

The Cougars attempted 19 shots on goal.