De­fense key for state teams

Springfield Sun - - SPORTS - By An­drew Robin­son arobin­son@21st-cen­tu­ry­ @Adrobin­son3 on Twit­ter

No mat­ter the class size, there’s usu­ally one thing ev­ery team in the state soc­cer tour­na­ment has go­ing for it.

Teams don’t get to Novem­ber by al­low­ing many goals and it’s usu­ally a big part of the rea­son most state play­off games aren’t high scor­ing or lop­sided. Of course there are ex­cep­tions, mostly in first round games, but for the most part the next two weeks will feature tense games that are of­ten de­cided by one or two chances.

The teams from Mont­gomery Me­dia play­ing in the state soc­cer tour­na­ment have proven their worth de­fen­sively.

In the 4A boys’ bracket, Tues­day’s first round meet­ing be­tween CB West and La Salle will pit a pair of top-notch de­fenses against each other. The Bucks have al­lowed 19 goals all sea­son while the Ex­plor­ers have given up just 12.

Both of those sides are led by ex­cel­lent goal­keep­ers in La Salle se­nior Brett Werner and CB West ju­nior Dy­lan Smith. Werner, who has com­mit­ted to La Salle Uni­ver­sity, com­bines size, wing­span and ath­leti­cism while Smith is equally quick and com­mands his box with pres­ence. Each team has only given up more than two goals in a game once this sea­son.

“He’s been very ac­tive off his line re­cently,” La Salle coach Tom Mccaf­frey said of Werner. “That’s the Brett we’ve come to ex­pect. I think early in the sea­son he was a lit­tle ten­ta­tive about it but he worked at it and fig­ured things out. He does a re­ally good job con­trol­ling the box and on restarts. He’s huge for us.”

Arch­bishop Wood, which faces Man­heim Cen­tral in the 3A boys bracket, had given up just 16 goals this sea­son, so the Vik­ings



Gwynedd Mercy Academy’s Brid­get Casey bat­tles St. Basil’s Cara Hughes for pos­ses­sion of the ball.

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