|
|
The Suburbanite
  • Comets’ Senior Night ends with 2-1 loss to LCCS

  • This wasn’t how it was supposed to end. A 2-1 loss on Senior Night and a third straight defeat for a soccer team that just one week prior was on the verge of a second consecutive Portage Trail Conference title weren’t in the script the Coventry Comets penned at the beginning of the 2012 season.

    • email print
  • This wasn’t how it was supposed to end. A 2-1 loss on Senior Night and a third straight defeat for a soccer team that just one week prior was on the verge of a second consecutive Portage Trail Conference title weren’t in the script the Coventry Comets penned at the beginning of the 2012 season.
    “This isn’t the season I wanted,” Coventry coach Aaron Rose said after his team’s one-goal defeat at the hands of the Lake Center Christian Tigers.
    Life has been difficult for the Comets (6-7-1) since a 2-1 loss to Kent Roosevelt in a game that would have put Coventry in control of the PTC race. Instead, the Rough Riders scored with less than five minutes remaining and followed the triumph with a 4-0 win over Springfield that all but clinched the league title.
    “We’re definitely searching a little bit. These guys put everything they had into that Kent game, and we gave up a bad goal to lose it at the end,” Rose said. “Right now, the confidence is not there.”
    The Comets have gone the other way since the defeat, and LCCS (6-4-5) capitalized with one of its biggest wins of the season. After Coventry controlled the first 10 minutes of the game and peppered LCCS goalkeeper Dan Raines with shots, an unexpected Tigers goal materialized almost out of thin air.
    Senior forward Jairus Taylor caught up to a through ball that was played down the right wing in the game’s 11th minute and corralled it long enough to change direction and fire a low, skidding shot from a difficult angle that eluded Coventry senior keeper Ross Carr. The score produced a surge of excitement for the visitors and looks of disbelief from the home team. The two goals were Taylor’s first two of the season.
    “The second goal, I thought, was even bigger than the first one,” LCCS coach Derek Taylor said. “We’ve had some big ties against good teams this season, but this win…our guys have fared very well as the underdogs this season.”
    From that point on, LCCS approached the contest with a much more aggressive style. Bolstered by their lead, they battled physically against the bigger, more athletic Comets. Then, with 2:25 left in the opening half, lightning struck a second time as Taylor found open space on the left wing and smacked another low, line-drive shot that scooted by Carr for a 2-0 lead.
    The second half was an intense, physical affair that saw LCCS’ sophomore defender Wade Kyser receive a yellow card for a verbal altercation with a Coventry player after a shot on the Tigers’ goal. Raines made the save on the shot, then made a second save by pulling Kyser away before he could get into any more trouble.
    Page 2 of 2 - The Comets finally scored with 3:39 left as Casey Prater controlled a loose ball in the box and struck a confident shot that trickled past Raines to halve the deficit and inject life into the home sideline.
    A rally just wasn’t meant to be, as several last-minute looks at the goal went wide or were knocked down by Raines or Michael Schwartzentruber, Kyser, Andrew Sample and Andrew Carr, all of whom were consistent in pestering Coventry ball handlers all night long. Still, it was Raines who rained on the Comets’ Senior Night parade the most, making 20 saves on 21 shots on goal.
    Every time it seemed Coventry was about to put a dent in the LCCS lead, Raines or a member of the back line for the LCCS defense was there. Luke Bedford’s shot from close range? Raines made a diving save. Dakota Pinkus’ contested header from the left side of the box? It ricocheted off the crossbar.
    Pinkus, who was animated in challenging his teammates to up their level of play after the game, pulled his jersey up over his face in disgust after missing on a chance to find the back of the net in the final minute. He and fellow seniors Andrew Dodd, Josh Tomor, Trevor Weyrick, Carr and John Hoover all showed their disappointment with the loss as they solemnly trudged off the field after the game. The battle to score was something their coach has grown familiar with this season.
    “That has been our struggle all season long, scoring,” Rose said.
    On the night, the Comets outshot the Tigers 21-7 to no avail.
    On the Coventry sideline Rose and his team talked for several minutes as a group about what had just happened. With two regular-season games remaining before the tournament, the Comets have precious little time to right their ship and rediscover their mojo. A season that once seemed headed for big feats is now in need of a course correction.