St. Pauls, on the strength of a goal from sophomore striker Juwan Kearson, remained undefeated in the MIAA B Conference soccer with a hard fought 1-0 win over Boys Latin, in Roland Park on Saturday morning.
The Crusaders made that second half score stand up despite a relentless closing surge from the host Lakers, as the St. Paul’s defense withstood the challenge. The win gives the Crusaders (6-5-0, 6-0-0) sole possession of first place in the league. BL (5-2-1, 5-1-1) is tied for second with Friends School.
Kearson said that the Lakers’ long throw-ins were very dangerous, but the Crusaders were able to keep them out.
“Our defense did very well.” On his goal, Keason said, “Spencer (Golden) passed the ball to me in the middle and I cut it to the left and I hit it; it deflected off a player and it went right into the net.”
Laker coach Don Rickels said it was a terrific game.
“Both teams played awesome. (Kearson) just turned and hit it, it had great dip on it to go over our goalies’ head, but besides that, just two equal teams.”
Rickels said his team has a lot of depth and being able to rotate players in and out (particularly in the midfield) has been been beneficial.
“We had nice opportunities in the second half, we just weren’t able to finish them.”
Crusader coach Danny Skelton said he knew coming in that it would be a emotional game.
“We knew that we had to stay true to our game, possess the ball, and control the tempo as best we could,” said Skelton. “We knew that BL would be looking to capitalize on set pieces. We knew they were going to be direct on how they played, and that’s exactly how the game unfolded.”
Skelton said that although BL had momentum in the second half, the Crusaders did a great job defending. “We finished one, and that’s all it took in this game.”
Rickels said everyone gave it their best. “Two great teams.”