09/30/04 — Prep soccer -- Tigers take Rosewood

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Prep soccer -- Tigers take Rosewood

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on September 30, 2004 1:57 PM

Rosewood and James Kenan headed into Wednesday evening's match on the heels of dramatic Class 1-A Carolina/Super Six victories in their previous outings.

The Tigers survived an overtime scare at North Johnston 10 days ago and salvaged a tie. Meanwhile, the Eagles notched two goals in the final 10 minutes to deal Hobbton a one-goal loss on Monday.

A spectacular ending didn't surface this time.

Junior forward Demetrio Barrera collected a pair of first-half goals and added an assist as James Kenan doubled up Rosewood 4-2 at Branch Pope Field. The Tigers remained unbeaten in Carolina/Super Six play at 2-0-1, while the Eagles fell to 3-2 in the league.

James Kenan executed its game plan with ease from the opening whistle. The Tigers pushed the ball forward with crisp passing and switched fields on occasion to stretch the Eagle defense.

The possession-style tempo created passing lanes for senior forward Hector Bermudez, junior midfielder Jose Rojo and junior midfielder Jose Cheluca. The trio capitalized on the assistance from their backfield and fed numerous passes down the sideline, mainly to Barrera.

"I don't know who the kid was playing on the right wing, but he made several good runs there on the backside," Rosewood coach Daniel Mitchell said of Barrera. "We just didn't mark him up and that's how he got his two goals. It was just us making mistakes and we should know better by now.

"They were organized, knew where to play the ball and find the open man."

Less than 10 minutes in, Cheluca converted an Eagle turnover into Barrera's first scoring opportunity. Cheluca delivered a one-touch pass to the left side which extended the Eagle defense and left an open seam for Barrera, who fired a perfect strike toward the back post.

Not long after Barrera's first goal, the same play materialized again -- on the opposite side of the field. Martinez crossed the ball from the right side to Barrera, who easily tucked the ball away.

James Kenan led 2-0 with just three shots on goal.

"I want to get them to play like that the whole game," Tigers coach Steve le Roux said of the team's passing attack. "It might not be the most spectacular game, but effective because you score goals.

"You don't have individuals scoring fancy goals, but the team -- which works it down the field and keeps shooting on goal. You know the goals will come."

Rojo accounted for the Tigers' next two goals on assists from Bermudez and Barrera. James Kenan kept its 4-0 advantage until late in the first half when Rosewood averted the shutout.

Tiger keeper Alex Barralaga deflected Brandon Hietpas' indirect kick off the crossbar and it bounced dangerously close to the goal line. Junior Kyle Bunn tried to get a cleat on it, but Barralaga -- again -- deflected the ball toward the far post.

Senior forward Matt Howell collected the rebound and finished off the play to provide the halftime score of 4-1.

"The first half, it was like we were playing scared, playing not to lose," Mitchell said. "They came out from the get-go, pressured us and we gave up a few goals that we shouldn't have given up."

Rosewood (6-7-1) also failed to finish shots in the early stages of the match. Senior fullback Joey Churchwell had three point-blank range shots against Barralaga, but rushed all three attempts. The most-dramatic was a shot from the left side toward the far post that Barralaga stopped with a diving glove save.

The Eagles held the Tigers scoreless in the second half.

Mitchell's team discovered some offensive rhythm and began to get some play from the midfield, but couldn't consistently keep possession. James Kenan intercepted a few passes and pushed the ball back down field, but couldn't find the mark.

"We settled down," Mitchell said. "We didn't give up another goal and I was proud of that. We had plenty of opportunities to put the ball in the back of the net, but we did a poor job of finishing tonight.

"It should have been closer than 4-2."

Goss Kendall added a penalty kick in the final 10 minutes for the 4-2 final.

James Kenan 4 0 -- 4

Rosewood 1 1 -- 2

First half

JK -- Demetrio Barrera (Jose Cheluca assist)

JK -- Barrera (Alfredo Martinez assist)

JK -- Jose Rojo (Hector Bermudez assist)

JK -- Rojo (Barrera assist)

R -- Matt Howell (unassisted)

Second half

R -- Goss Kendall PK

J. Kenan Rosewood

22 Shots on goal 14

3 Corner kicks 5

2 Offsides 0

11 Fouls 9

Saves -- James Kenan -- Alex Barralaga 7, Bermudez 0. Rosewood -- Antell Richards 7.