Knights Dominate Second Half, But Can't Come All The Way Back
By: Rich Maclone
A second-half surge fell just short of stopping the Storm.
Sandwich fell behind by a 4-0 score in the first half against the league’s second-place, regular-season team, the Nauset Storm, and couldn’t come all the way back, but they certainly made things interesting. The Knights scored three times in the second half and kept Nauset from adding to its tally, only to fall by a 4-3 score in the semifinals of the Cape Cod Amateur Soccer League playoffs on Wednesday evening in Orleans. The loss concluded a strong season for Sandwich which saw them just miss out on a chance to go to the league championship game. Dennis-Yarmouth defeated Falmouth, 2-1, in sudden death overtime in the other semifinal game and will meet Nauset at Cape Cod Tech in Harwich on Sunday at 5 PM for the league title.
Nauset bunched up its attack in the middle of the first half and turned a scoreless game into a 3-0 affair in a matter of just three minutes. Tyler Savonen got the first one and then Sam Ocell popped a pair of quick ones in succession. Savonen then added another in the 46th minute of the first half to make it a four-goal lead at the break as the Storm gave keeper Alex Puleitis fits early in the game.
The second half could not have been more different. Sandwich fought to the bitter end and, with a relentless push, made things quite interesting. Shane Garner cashed in a pretty feed from Eric Alvarenga in the 55th minute to put Sandwich on the scoreboard as he one-timed his shot to the upper corner.
In the 72nd minute things really started to change as Sandwich grabbed more momentum on the strength of a goal by Paul Alvarenga who ran onto a beautiful free kick by Garner and beat the keeper with some nifty footwork in close to make it 4-2.
As time got low, Sandwich had a goal disallowed that could have been a real game-changer. Stu Leone ran onto a rebound, off a kick from outside the box, and boxed it by the goalie to seemingly make it a one-goal game with five minutes to play. Leone’s goal was not counted, though, because he was ruled offside as the referees explained that Leone broke in behind the defender too early. Sandwich vociferously disagreed, but their arguments fell on deaf ears.
The sting from that one not counting mounted when Andrew Krikorian, who had a strong all-around contest, beat the goalie with a shot from the back side in the 89th minute to make it a one-goal game. Sandwich ran out of time, and luck, after that and went home unhappy.
Coach Mike Stuber said that his team came out flat, and that was what cost them in the end. “We went into a funk and let them score a couple in a row. I can’t explain what happened,” Stuber said. “In the second half we showed what we’re capable of doing.”
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