Bucs stymied by Bears in state semi­fi­nal

The Capital - - SPORTS ON TV - By Brian Bur­den bbur­den@balt­sun.com OAK­DALE 1, KENT IS­LAND 0

CLARKSVILLE — As the min­utes wilted down to sec­onds in its Class 2A state semi­fi­nal, Kent Is­land pressed for an equal­izer that just would not come. Car­los Chevez tried to get a ball into the mid­dle of the box and, just be­fore time ex­pired, a Buc­ca­neers cor­ner kick went harm­lessly into space.

It just was not meant to be. An­thony Ko­can volleyed home a cross from Kerem Yil­maz two min­utes into the sec­ond half as Oak­dale de­feated Kent Is­land, 1-0, at River Hill High School.

“We just could not find a way to score the win­ning goal, or the equal­izer when we got be­hind,” Kent Is­land coach Lin Out­ten said. “We needed to be su­per clean in the back and we need to keep learn­ing how to win 1-0 games in the playoffs. We did bet­ter this year, but we need to keep do­ing it.”

The Buc­ca­neers (14-3) went into the wind in the first half, cre­at­ing some crazy balls in the air at both ends. Ko­can went just wide left in the sev­enth minute and Ri­ley Daiger went just high on a free kick three min­utes later for the Bears (13-5-1). Kent Is­land held pos­ses­sion longer, but Oak­dale had the higher qual­ity chances.

“Our guys work hard on the pitch, they press all over the place, and they are re­ally in tune to what we ask for de­fen­sively,” Oak­dale coach Mitch Ru­bin said.

Ru­bin's Thomas John­son teams in the mid 2000s rou­tinely held high pos­ses­sion per­cent­ages, and he has learned that, in his third sea­son at the Ijamsville school, not hav­ing the ball all the time is OK.

“We just do not ask for a lot of pos­ses­sion, and we still do not give up a lot of chances be­cause of the de­fense,” Ru­bin said. “It is ob­vi­ously a lot of run­ning, but it has worked for us.”

Out­ten was en­cour­aged by the game re­main­ing score­less at the half.

“The wind was in our face and I knew it was go­ing to be dif­fi­cult,” Out­ten said. “To come out 0-0 was a pos­i­tive. I felt very con­fi­dent at half­time that it would be our half. So, to take a strange goal like that was a sur­prise. I did not think the other team was go­ing to score. They were press­ing hard, they were play­ing hard, I just did not think they were go­ing to score on us.”

Kent Is­land goal­keeper Jack­son Davis is one of the best in the area and he pa­trols the en­tire box. He came out on a se­quence early in the sec­ond half, but could not ei­ther gain pos­ses­sion of the ball or clear it. The ball ended up on Yil­maz' foot.

Bryan Lang­ford and Chevez took good chances at Oak­dale's goal off free kicks, but the shots nor­mally just went a lit­tle high. The Buc­ca­neers would not send the game into ex­tra time, and would not go to Loy­ola.

“To­day, the other team got us,” Out­ten said. “We will have to do the same thing we have the past cou­ple of years — get JV guys to un­der­stand what we ex­pect and how to per­form at this level,” Out­ten said.

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