Bay falls one step short of re­turn trip

Min­ute­men score four straight in shootout to oust Rock­ets

The Morning Journal (Lorain, OH) - - SPORTS - By Marissa McNees mm­c­nees@morn­ingjour­nal.com @Maris­saNM on Twit­ter

STRONGSVILLE >> Bay’s record­set­ting sea­son came to a heart­break­ing end Nov. 7 when the top-ranked Rock­ets lost in a shootout, 3-2, to No. 5 Rich­field Re­vere in a Di­vi­sion II state semi­fi­nal match.

Re­vere’s An­drew Cooke put the Min­ute­men on the board

first and Bay (18-2-2) found it­self trail­ing in a match for the first time since Sept. 29. But stand­out ju­nior Kyle Cusi­mano tied the game late in the first half and af­ter trad­ing a pair of goals in the sec­ond, the game was headed to over­time.

The Rock­ets dom­i­nated pos­ses­sion much of both over­time pe­ri­ods, in­clud­ing a near miss by se­nior Cade Ger­gye in the fi­nal five min­utes, but Re­vere held them off to send the game to a shootout.

Bay went with Cusi­mano in goal rather than start­ing keeper Kevin Lin­der and Re­vere (17-2-3) scored four straight, in­clud­ing the gamewin­ner from Cooke, while the Rock­ets missed two of their three shots to miss out on back-to-back state fi­nal ap­pear­ances.

Re­vere will face Sum­mit Coun­try Day on Nov. 10 in the D-II state cham­pi­onship game at MAPFRE Sta­dium.

“In the end, their goal­keeper was spe­cial in the shootout,” Bay coach Bobby Dougherty said. “He did a phe­nom­e­nal job. He was like a cat.

“Cujo (Cusi­mano) is our best in the shootout. He jumps in there and you’re like, ‘Why would you change it?’ He’s nor­mally a goal­keeper by trade which sounds ridicu­lous with all the goals that he has. We went with what we thought was our best goal­keeper and in the end we just didn’t fin­ish. You got to put the PKs away.”

The Min­ute­men avenge an early sea­son blowout loss at the hands of Bay in which Cooke said the team was not op­er­at­ing on full strength.

This time around, how­ever, the ju­nior said he and his team­mates knew it’d be a com­pletely dif­fer­ent match.

“I think that first time we def­i­nitely did not come out (well),” Cooke said.

“(Bay) scored pretty early. We had some play­ers in­clud­ing me miss­ing from that game and I think now we’re a lot tighter of a group. We all had to prove so much through­out the sea­son that we all knew com­ing into this game it’d be a lot dif­fer­ent.”

Re­vere went with its same first five its prac­ticed with all sea­son, so Cooke knew he’d be in a po­si­tion to put the game away when his num­ber was called.

“I walked up there, just didn’t pay at­ten­tion to any­thing but the ball,” he said. “I hon­estly didn’t hear any­thing. I kept it all out and I just went with the spot I al­ways had and it went in.

“I’m just a lit­tle as­ton­ished, ex­cited. I didn’t re­ally know what to do...I was just jump­ing up and down, run­ning all over the place. I’ve never felt like that.”

The Rock­ets end the sea­son hav­ing set the record for most wins, points and goals in a sea­son in what was sup­posed to be a re­build­ing year for the young side.

De­spite feel­ing like the game would be much more com­pet­i­tive than the first time around, the loss is es­pe­cially dis­ap­point­ing for Bay in that Dougherty main­tains his team was the bet­ter team in the end.

“In the first game we were lights out. We scored two goals in the first five min­utes. It throws it in com­plete dis­ar­ray,” he said.

“We know they’re bet­ter than that . ... For this thing to go back and forth is ex­actly what we ex­pected. In the end I thought we were still the bet­ter team but you’ve got to score more.”

JEN FORBUS — FOR THE MORN­ING JOUR­NAL

Bay’s Kyle Cusi­mano is tripped up by Re­vere’s Trent Rorabaugh on Nov. 7. The play re­sulted in a penalty kick and the Rock­ets’ first goal.

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