Bucs clinch third straight North Bayside title
Tinjum scores winning goal in 32nd minute for Kent Island
RIDGELY — Friday’s showcase featured the first-place Kent Island High boys’ soccer team at second-place North Caroline with the North Bayside championship on the line.
The Buccaneers engineered a 3-1 victory to clinch their third straight division crown and earn a berth in the conference championship Tuesday, Oct. 23.
“We knew they are real tough to play against,” Kent Island head coach Lin Outten said. “North Caroline played great. They were excellent. This was a great game to be a part of.
“Our guys did a great job against a tough opponent,” Outten added. “We are happy to get the win. I would not be shocked if we had to play them again down the road.”
The Buccaneers (9-1 overall, 7-0 North Bayside) nearly took the lead with a trio of chances in the seventh minute. Bryan Langford’s shot deflected wide but resulted in a corner kick. James Consoli gathered a loose ball off the corner and shot, but hit the post and North Caroline cleared.
In the 15th minute, Kent Island’s Carson Colombo dished to Alex Weese who fired and scored for a 1-0 lead.
The Bulldogs (5-4-1, 5-1-1) immediately countered with sustained rushes. North Caroline’s Liam Dowdall earned a free kick in the 22nd minute when he was fouled just outside the goal box. Justin Tasker lofted the ensuing free kick toward the net, where Eli Canade’s header was saved by Bucs goalie Jackson Davis. Chaos ensued with the ball loose in front of the net. Kent Island tried clearing, but North Caroline’s Jarrett Porter charged in and buried the equalizer for a 1-1 tie.
“It was a great response by us after being down,” North Caroline head coach John Austin said. “We work set pieces all year, and do them really well.
“Jarrett plays defense for us, but he is a big part of our corners and free kicks because of his size,” Austin added. “It was a big goal. Our guys worked hard to get the free kick, and we converted.”
Kent Island’s go-ahead score came from Maddox Tinjum in the 32nd minute. Cameron Cha corralled a loose ball in the middle of the field, and delivered a pass across to Jason Kazzi along the right sideline. Kazzi then sailed a long pass to Consoli who played the ball back through the middle, where Tinjum scored for a 2-1 Kent Island lead.
“That was a beautiful goal,” Outten said. “Quick, precise passes provide the open space we needed. We are confidant we are able to possess the ball enough to get some chances like (that). It was a great answer for us.
“The way North Caroline fought back to tie us up was impressive,” Outten added. “We knew their throw-ins and corner kicks were going to be really dangerous, and they were. They were a threat the whole game.”
North Caroline pushed for the equalizer at the outset of the second half. Porter looked long for Dowdall in the 43rd minute. Dowdall crossed his dribble twice to create an opening, but shot wide.
Minutes later, Dowdall broke free and raced toward the right post. He hit a cross to Brett Blue, whose leftfooted shot was stopped by a diving Davis.
“The second half, we really challenged more,” Austin said. “In the first half, Kent Island would get the ball at their feet, and we were just a step behind them. That gave them a lot more possession. Our guys made that correction at halftime.
“From there, it was a completely even game,” Austin added. “We played really well in the second half. We created a lot of chances. We played the right way.”
A heads-up play by Luke Patterson in the 59th minute gave the Buccaneers an insurance score.
A long pass overshot a Kent Island striker to the left of the goal box. Bulldog keeper Merrick Wood raced to gain possession, sending a clear toward midfield. But Patterson corralled the ball about 50 yards from net and
unloaded a blast that beat Wood high for a 3-1 lead.
“Oftentimes, it is hard to recognize where the goalie is because you are so far from goal,” Outten said. “The fact that Luke had a presence of mind to see the shot was open and hit it quickly, was a great play. We needed a third goal with the way North Caroline was coming at us. We are thankful Luke was able to put that one in.”
The Buccaneers also benefited from the communication of Davis, a four-year starter in net. Davis directed traffic for the Bucs’ counter attack, allowing Kent Island to penetrate the offensive end.
“As a senior and captain, he embraces his role as a leading communicator out there,” Outten said of Davis. “He has done a great job.
“You need a general in the back directing the movements and organization because he can see so much of the field,” Outten continued. “There is so much chaos so having Jackson directing out there gives us an advantage.”
Austin said he was proud of the Bulldogs’ effort.
“This is probably the best game we’ve played in about a month,” he said. “This shows we are growing as a team.
“It is not every day you get to play for the North championship,” Austin added. “Lin is a great coach, and he has a great team. It was a high-quality soccer game with two really good teams. Hopefully everything works out and we’ll see them again.”
GIRLS’ SOCCER Kent Island 11, Kent County 0
STEVENSVILLE — Ashlee Rotert had three goals and set up four others, and McKenzie Mogel also notched a hat trick and dished three assists Friday, as the Buccaneers clinched their third consecutive North Bayside title.
Winners of seven straight, the Buccaneers (7-2, 6-0) are slated to wrap up their division schedule on Monday at Easton. Even if Kent Island lost to the Warriors, it would still win the North because it defeated Queen Anne’s (9-2, 6-1) in their regular-season meeting earlier this year.
Kylie Marsden, Taylor Riffle, Alyssa Orlinski, Ally Heath (two assists) and Jordan Grard each scored for Kent Island. Morgan Gunn, Biggs Helfenbein and KK Karnes had one assist apiece. Starting goalie Madi Banks wasn’t required to make any saves before being replaced by Cara Cunane, who made two saves.
Kent County slipped to 4-7, 1-5.
FIELD HOCKEY Queen Anne’s 2, St. Michaels 1
CENTREVILLE — Casey Sweitzer set up goals by Samantha Mandes and Faith Corder on Saturday morning to lift the Lions past St. Michaels.
The defending North Baysidechampion Lions (8-2, 4-0) will look to clinch their second straight division title on Wednesday when they play at Kent Island (11-0, 4-0).
North Caroline’s Justin Tasker surveys the field against Kent Island Friday, Oct. 12.