Trojans go 2-0 during the week, win 3 of last 4 soccer matches

WORTON — A fighting spirit, tenacity, perseverance, whatever you want to call it, is starting to pay off for Kent County’s mostly underclassman soccer team.

After an 0-5 start, the Trojans have gone 3-1.

“I do believe that every game we get better and stronger, even though it is not reflected in our record,” coach Tom Speakman said.

“We’re a very young team with an inexperienced goalie, and it’s been a bit of a culture shock going from rec right to varsity soccer,” he said. “But they never give up and they continue to fight. The immediacy of a loss fades away pretty quickly, and they’re having a good time playing soccer.”

After the Trojans went 2-0 last week, with a pair of 3-2 victories, Speakman said “they are consistently building confidence and coming together as a team. I am so proud of them all.”

Speakman said he and his staff of Dennis Hickman and Matthew Cousineau — all KCHS soccer alumni — told their players that they were capable of defeating Mardela and St. Michaels, which they did.

Due to scheduling change, those matches were played on consecutive days.

Senior Will Speakman scored what held up as the winning goal Oct. 4 at St. Michaels, with freshman Sebastien Cousineau getting the assist.

Senior Martin Parrish, who has led the Trojans in scoring in each of the last two seasons, nailed a pair of penalty kicks for Kent’s other two goals.

The Saints and their guests from Kent County traded PKs for a 1-1 tie at halftime.

After another back-and-forth in the scoring produced another tie on Parrish’s second penalty kick, Will Speakman gave the Trojans their first lead at 3-2.

What held up as the winning goal came in the 59th minute, Speakman heading in a textbook cross from Sebastien Cousineau with a shot into the upper 90.

The day before, at home against Mardela, Kent raced out to a 2-0 lead, salvaged a 2-2 draw at halftime, and then regained the lead for good on the second of freshman Gabe Parr’s two goals.

Salisbury University-commit Parrish set up Parr’s first goal and scored the Trojans’ second goal in the 13th minute.

Mardela ended the shutout in the 20th minute with a shot in the left corner after Kent keeper Leyder Cruz, a first-year high school soccer player, had been pulled to the opposite side.

Cruz then made a series of spectacular saves – punching a free kick from long distance over the crossbar in the 21st minute, smothering another free kick taken from about 30 yards out in the 24th minute and using his body to block a shot in the 31st minute.

The Warriors finally solved Cruz in the 36th minute with a shot from the left side that curled inside the far post.

Parr restored Kent County’s lead for good in the 48th minute, beating the goalie one-on-one at the right post.

The Trojans dented the win column for the first time Sept. 25 at Cambridge, 7-2. Parrish had a hat trick; Cousineau, Nick Stead, Chris Gonzalez and Colbyn Lopez each contributed a goal.

Kent cleared its bench; Parrish and Will Speakman sat the entire second half.

This is Tom Speakman’s second year as head coach at alma mater KCHS.

“I think we’re in a good place, even though the record (3-6) doesn’t show it,” he said. “With the young guys we have and the kids that will be coming up through the youth league, I think they’ll grow together and really be something in a couple of years.”

It’s a short list of returnees from the three-win campaign of 2022: seniors Will Speakman (defensive midfielder) and two-time team MVP Martin Parrish (offensive midfielder); junior Nick Stead (outside halfback or striker, depending on the formation); and sophomores Stewart Hickman (defender), Colbyn Lopez (left wing or left halfback), Noah Iacona (some midfield early in the season, but has been helping out on defense) and Chris Gonzalez (striker).

The first-year high school players are: senior Gabriel Johnson (striker); junior Leyder Cruz (goalie); sophomore Brennen Dean (defense); and a host of freshmen, Jayden Miller (halfback, usually the first player off the bench), Aiden Ruiz (striker), Gabe Parr (striker or right wing), Nathan Sutton (midfielder), Bryce Jacobs (defender) and Sebastien Cousineau (midfielder).


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