Kentwood bounces back, stops Kentlake
Their week started off with miserable playing conditions and a disappointing loss.
Suffice to say that the boys on the Kentwood High soccer team have a much brighter outlook as of the moment.
The Conquerors bounced back from Monday’s 3-2 loss to Tahoma by shutting out Kentlake on Wednesday night, 2-0, and taking over sole possession of first place in the South Puget Sound League North Division.
Kentwood is now 4-1-0 with 12 points, two ahead of Jefferson (3-1-1, 10 points).
The Conquerors and TJ began the week tied for first and undefeated. But both went down on Monday. Besides Kentwood’s loss to Tahoma, the Raiders fell to Decatur, 2-1.
“I was trying to stress to them in one quick day of just forgetting about it and putting it behind them,” Kentwood coach Aaron Radford said of the setback to Tahoma. “We just have to forget a freakish loss that none of us want to accept and move on.”
Kentwood and Tahoma started Monday’s game at French Field in dry conditions, and the Conquerors took a 2-1 lead into halftime on a pair of goals by Danny Brill, both of which were set up by Matt Eronemo.
Lightning struck at the outset of the second half, resulting in an automatic 30-minute delay. In the middle of that, it struck again, adding another 15 minutes to the delay. Just as the players returned to the field to resume the game, there was more lightning, and another automatic 30-minute timeout.
Then, hail and snow began to fall, covering the French Field turf.
“About 7:15, the ref talked to me and said they were going to call the game,” said Radford.
Had that happened, it would have been an official game, since a complete half had been played, and Kentwood would have had a 2-1 win.
The announcement was made, and one of the linesmen even left, Radford said.
But shortly thereafter, Radford said the referee decided that they would try to clear off the field at least to the point where players and officials could see the soccer lines. They did, the game resumed, and Tahoma rallied with two late goals – the equalizer by Darioush Kazemi in the 75th minute, and the game-winner by Jared King in the 76th.
The Conquerors managed to shake all of that off on Wednesday as Eronemo scored a pair of goals just three minutes apart midway through the first half. He bent a direct free kick around a four-man wall for a 1-0 lead in the 26th minute, then picked up a volley out of the air that dipped down into the back of the net in the 29th.
“For pure shots, those are the best we’ve put in (this season),” Radford said.